4 Workers Were Killed On the Job – Are You Safe?

June was a deadly month for workers in Maryland.  In just 8 days, four men were killed by the 4 most common types of fatal accidents on a construction site.  These fatal four include:

  • Falls
  • Struck by object
  • Electrocutions as well as
  • Caught in or between. 

The Danger of Falls

Workers’ CompensationAuthorities are investigating the death of construction worker Michael David Zeller, of Essex, Maryland. Mr. Zeller was working for Kone, an international escalator and elevator company, and fell 20 feet down an elevator shaft while working on the planned headquarters of McCormick & Co.  After falling down the shaft, Mr. Zeller’s body became trapped between the wall of the shaft and the elevator’s counterweight.

Falls are responsible for 38 % of all construction site fatalities, and the top ten most frequent violations of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Health and Safety Administration’s (OSHA) regulations include these fall related hazards:

  • Insufficient fall protection training
  • The improper use of ladders
  • Improperly constructed scaffolding
  • The absence of proper fall protection 

The Risk of Being Struck by an Object

Another Maryland man died on June 13, 2018 in Annapolis.  He was harnessed and trimming a tree at the time. The unidentified man suffered fatal injuries when a falling tree limb hit and pinned him against the tree. While not a construction related accident, the risk of an object striking and killing someone is a very real concern. This is true both on construction sites and on other work sites. In fact, 9.4 % of all construction site fatalities are as a result of being struck by an object.


A third man was fatally electrocuted, also on June 13, 2018.  In this incident, the construction worker was installing siding on a new home. The man came into contact with a live electrical wire while standing on a scaffold. Efforts to resuscitate him were unsuccessful.

Caught In or Between

On yet another construction site, a fourth man died in Maryland when a trench collapsed. Kyle Hancock was working on a sewer line in the center of a 15 foot trench. The trench collapsed, apparently due to an employer’s failure to comply with safety requirements relating to trenching. Fire officials reported no protective barrier was in place for the trench, despite OSHA’s requirement trenches 5 feet or deeper require a protective system.  It took 10 hours to recover the body.

Know Your Rights

Employers have responsibilities to you as a worker, which include providing:

  • A safe workplace free from known and obvious dangers
  • Protective equipment, including fall protection, at no charge
  • Training, including safety training, in a language the you can understand

If you feel that you are working in an unsafe work environment, you can – and should – report your employer to OSHA.  This report may also include a request for a workplace inspection if your employer is not following workplace safety standards or you feel there is a serious hazard. What’s more, OSHA will keep your identity confidential.

Workplace Safety is Critical

At Hilton & Somer, LLC, we care about your workplace safety.  If you have been injured on the job, or if a loved one has been killed in a workplace related accident, our workers’ compensation attorneys will fight tirelessly for you and your family.  We work to recover lost wages, the cost of medical bills and expenses, and funeral expenses where appropriate. Call us today at 703-782-8592 for a no obligation consultation.