WETUMPKA, ALA. — Federal safety investigators are investigating a fatal construction accident Jan. 20. The worker was killed on the job during a project at the Wetumpka Municipal Airport.
The worker, an employee of a construction company contracted to build a drainage ditch at the airport, died of injuries he sustained when he was struck by a concrete drainage pipe, Detective Mike Hafley of the Wetumpka Police Department told The Wetumpka Herald.
The fatal construction accident occurred around 4:30 p.m., authorities said. The Wetumpka Herald reported that the worker was “fatally injured … by one of the concrete drain (pipes) striking him,” quoting Det. Hafley.
Birmingham’s WBRC reported that the victim was part of a crew installing a storm drain when the accident occurred about 4:30 p.m., adding that he was pinned against a wall.
According to The Wetumpka Herald, Lindsey Williams, public affairs officer for the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) regional office in Atlanta, said the deceased worker was an employee of David Bulger Inc., which also does business as David Bulger Construction Inc. Records show that the company is based in Montgomery. Ala.
OSHA said it will investigate the death. According to the agency, “struck-by” accidents are one of the leading causes of death in the construction industry. Approximately 75 percent of struck-by fatalities in construction involve heavy equipment such as trucks or cranes striking workers while lifting and moving heavy materials.
Federal safety regulators consistently list the construction industry as the deadliest industry in the U.S. According to OSHA, the fatality rate for excavation work is 112 percent higher than the rate for general construction.
In 2014, 4,679 workers were killed on the job – about 90 deaths per week and more than 13 every day. Fatal work injuries involving construction contractors accounted for 17 percent (about 795 workers) of all fatal work injuries in 2014.