A Kansas City water department worker died suddenly on July 22nd due to a workplace accident. Apparently a temporary plug gave way at the sewer line in which the man was working and the manhole where he was located then filled up with raw sewage.
It was reported to authorities that co-workers heard a noise that sounded like an explosion. What actually occurred was a rubber plug being expelled from the sewer line that was in the process of being repaired. Though co-workers then tried to enter the manhole to rescue the individual, they were unable to locate him. Co-workers even had to use a backhoe to break the bottom of the main sewer line to drain the sewage. Despite efforts of the co-workers to save the man, he ended up dying at the scene of the accident.
Police apparently conducted a preliminary investigation into what occurred. However, water department employees are also trying to make a determination as to what occurred so that this sort of accident does not occur again.
If a worker has been injured or killed due to unsafe conditions or if a worker suspects workplace hazards continue to exist, it would be a good idea to contact an attorney experienced in employment related matters. Such attorneys can provide individual counsel and provide options as to what can be done. These attorneys can also represent injured workers or family members if a work-related accident such as the one mentioned above does occur.
City employees often are asked to take on difficult tasks that present certain risks. Though such workers generally know of the risks in advance, their employers should still do all within their power to making working conditions safe. Workers are asked to perform these types of tasks by employers, and the employers sometimes assume that there is little chance of any mishaps occurring. Too often, something does occur.
Source: The Kansas City Star, “KC water employee died when plug gave way in sewage pipe,” Christine Vendel and Mike Hendricks, July 23, 2013