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2 Texas workers killed while constructing radio tower

Even with all of the advanced technology and innovations we have today, there are still many dangerous jobs being performed by Americans that can kill or injure workers if the proper safety measures are not taken. Yesterday, the Houston Chronicle reported that two workers from Texas were killed when they fell off of a radio tower they were assembling in Indiana.

The accident occurred on Wednesday at about 9:00 a.m. in north-central Indiana, about 70 miles northwest of Indianapolis, the Chronicle reported. It was reported that a section of the tower fell while the men were standing at 340 feet in the air working on another segment of the tower, which was planned to reach 500 feet.

According to authorities, both men were wearing safety harnesses at the time, but a malfunction occurred when a parallel support device that was attached to the tower but not properly secured in the ground gave way.

Indiana's Occupational Safety and Health Administration is now investigating the accident to establish what led to the accident and the harnesses not working properly. A spokeswoman said that their investigation should take about 6 months to complete, the Chronicle reported.

Both of the men were contract workers; one man was from Laredo, Texas, and the other was from Mesquite, Texas, the Chronicle reported. The men had been part of a five-member crew working in Indiana to construct a radio tower that had to be relocated because of a new highway being built.

Anytime an accident like this occurs it reminds us that safety requirements and protocols are in place for a reason on these dangerous jobs. Here, it appears that safety precautions were ignored in some part, and if that is the case, wrongful death lawsuits are likely against the company the contractors were working for.

Often times, when workers are hurt or killed on the job, they or their families can bring a personal injury lawsuit against their employers if negligence on behalf of the employer or other workers caused the accident. However, most states have a statute of limitations or window of time in which a worker can file a claim. In Louisiana, that window is within one year from the date of the incident causing injury. In Texas, the claims must be filed within two years of the incident.

Source: Houston Chronicle, "2 workers die in Ind. radio tower accident," The Associated Press, 4/13/2011.

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