Digging near gas lines has the potential for serious ramifications. Most states place an emphasis on educating the public about the importance of digging with care. A recent incident in California further illustrates this point after a worker suffered fatal workplace injuries.
The victim was identified as a 44-year-old man who was employed by Big & Deep Ag Development. Reports indicate that he was using a heavy piece of machinery to dig when it struck a gas line. He died in the subsequent explosion. Two women in a nearby house also suffered burns as a result.
The incident is currently being investigated by several organizations. However, the company’s digging ticket had reportedly expired when the accident occurred. One of the man’s loved ones claims that he was previously injured in an accident as an employee of the same company. Big & Deep was issued a citation as a result of that incident.
Family members claim that dental records had to be provided in order for the coroner to make a positive identification due to the extent of the man’s workplace injuries. While the death of a loved one is always difficult, such a tragic, preventable death is especially hard. Because California requires employers to provide workers’ compensation insurance coverage to employees and these benefits typically extent to surviving family members, there may be financial relief available to help ease some of the stresses created by the loss. Many have found that negotiating with the insurance company is a task for which they are unprepared in a time filled with stress and choose to seek the help of an experienced professional.
Source: bakersfieldnow.com, “Man killed in explosion was ‘loving person’ and ‘great provider'”, Carol Ferguson, Nov. 18, 2015