Power Plant Accident Kills Two Kentucky Men

by | Jul 1, 2022 | Construction Accidents, Injuries

A company employee and a contractor died when they fell into a drainage system at a power plant in Western Kentucky.

Emergency responders worked for several hours to rescue these victims, who apparently survived the initial falls. However, toxic fumes at the accident site hampered these efforts. So, the operation was a “tedious, slow” effort to keep rescue crews safe, the city of Henderson said in a statement. 

“Big Rivers will be working with the proper regulatory authorities, our employees, local responders and safety officials as the investigation continues,” remarked company CEO Bob Berry.

The Fatal Four Workplace Accidents

Falls are, by far, the most common fatal workplace injury. A fall from as little as four stories above ground is typically fatal. Additionally, many workers have pre-existing conditions that increase the severity of fall injuries.

The other three fatal four injuries, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, are struck by, electrocution, and caught between injuries.

As for struck by injuries, an old story is that a penny dropped from the top of the Empire State Building is fatal to a pedestrian on the sidewalk. This story is mostly false, but it contains a grain of truth. So, it underscores the idea that a falling object, even a rather small one, like a hammer, could cause a fatal injury.

Live electrical wires could cause fatal burns. Electricity often causes muscle constriction (the “no let go” response). So, the victim could have extended contact with energy that’s hotter than the surface of the sun. Alternatively, an arc blast could throw the victim through the air and cause a fatal fall.

Caught between injuries usually involve a large construction vehicle. The victim is “caught between” the vehicle and a retaining wall or other such object.

Workers’ Compensation

State-administered workers’ compensation plans, which first appeared a little over a century ago, often compensate these and other job injury victims for their lost wages. These plans usually pay medical bills as well.

Several types of wage replacement are available, usually depending on the type of injury or occupational disease:

  • Temporary Total Disability: TTD victims cannot work while they recover. These victims usually receive two-thirds of their average weekly wage for the duration of their disabilities.
  • Temporary Partial Disability: Some victims must reduce their hours or accept a lower-paying light duty assignment as they recover. These victims usually receive two-thirds of the difference between their old and new incomes.
  • Permanent Disability: These victims usually receive a lump sum, based on their current and future earning ability, as well as the nature and extent of their disability. 

By definition, an occupational disease is a condition that occurs over the course of more than one work shift. Examples include hearing loss, toxic exposure illness, and repetitive stress injuries.

Workers’ compensation insurance companies also pay all reasonably necessary medical bills, from the first moment of emergency care to the last day of physical therapy. If the insurance company drags its feet, a Lexington personal injury lawyer can connect a victim with a doctor who charges nothing upfront.

Workers’ compensation benefits are no fault benefits. If the injury is work-related, full compensation is usually available, even if the victim was mostly or entirely at fault for the accident.

Nonsubscriber Cases

“Nonsubscriber” is usually Legalese for an uninsured employer. Some employers don’t carry workers’ compensation insurance, even though the law requires it. Others lie to insurance companies. For example, they might misclassify employees as independent contractors to reduce their premiums. When the insurance company uncovers such false statements, it usually denies coverage.

Compensation is still available if a victim proves negligence, or a lack of care, by a preponderance of the evidence, or more likely than not. Negligence is easier to prove in these nonsubscriber cases because, in most cases, these companies cannot use some “silver bullet” defenses.

The N-word could also refer to reckless employer claims. Workers’ compensation doesn’t cover these injuries. If an employer knowingly or recklessly endangers an employee, perhaps by sending workers to renovate an old building without protecting them from asbestos, additional compensation is available. This additional compensation includes money for noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.

Injury victims are usually entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Lexington, contact the Goode Law Office, PLLC. Attorneys can connect victims with doctors, even if they have no insurance or money.