The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is investigating a construction accident that resulted in the death of a 36-year-old Tulsa man.
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol (OHP) reported that the worker was using a front-end loader at the time of the incident. He was working at a construction site located near the Cimmaron River on Highway 48 in Creek County. At the time of the accident, he was trying to move a boulder to clear the way for the project and backed off the road.
The front-end loader fell into the river and the worker drowned in about 10 feet of water. The windows of the cab were rolled down, meaning it would have filled with water instantly.
The accident occurred around 5:30 p.m., and the Oklahoma Highway Patrol dive team and divers from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers worked through the night before recovering his body early the next morning.
The contractor that employed the victim issued this statement:
"Our crews worked all night diligently with first responders, emergency personnel and the authorities to assist with the recovery effort after an accident at our project site off State Highway 48. Our thoughts and prayers go out to our team member involved in the accident, his family, friends and the remainder of the team affected. Safety for our workers is the top priority of our business every day, and we will continue to work with the appropriate authorities to investigate this accident."
The investigation should reveal if the cause of the accident was poor training, faulty equipment or something else.
The man's family deserves an answer to why he was taken from them at such a young age. They also should meet with an attorney to discuss how they can recoup their losses for funeral expenses and future income through workers' compensation or other means.