Federal authorities are taking over the investigation of a construction worker’s death Saturday morning at the site of a new senior center being built in Carthage, Mo.
Luis Estrada, 29, of El Paso, Texas, died from blunt-force injuries he sustained in a falling accident. Authorities said that Mr. Estrada was declared dead upon his arrival at Mercy Joplin Hospital in Joplin, Mo., Sat. morning.
Mr. Estrada, an employee of Munda Hernandez Construction of El Paso, Texas, was part of a construction crew that is building an assisted living facility for seniors in the south side of the city.
According to a preliminary report by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Mr. Estrada had been standing in a three-sided box that was sitting on the forks of a tractor. He fell out of the box about 11 feet. The box then fell and struck Mr. Estrada on the head, giving him fatal blunt force trauma injuries.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of this worker whose life was cut tragically short on the job,” said Barbara Theroit, OSHA’s area director in Kansas City. “OSHA will investigate working conditions on the site to ensure all proper safety protocols were in place at the time of the injury.”
OSHA said it has opened an investigation of Munda Hernandez Construction and Arco Construction of St. Louis, which is the general contractor on the site.
OSHA said it has renewed its worker-awareness program emphasizing struck-by hazards in Missouri as well as Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska. The program coordinates inspections of complaints and referrals received about powered industrial trucks and other motorized equipment in construction and general industry.
According to the U.S. Labor Department, 20 percent of the 175 workplace fatalities investigated by the OSHA’s Kansas City Region during fiscal years 2012 through 2015 involved vehicle-related “struck by” incidents. Both struck-by hazards and falling hazards remain among the most predominant causes of fatal injuries in construction nationwide.