Construction worker Rafael Castillo-Saavedra died after he and a coworker were hit by a motorist in a closed lane on Interstate 94 in Detroit late in the evening of Sunday, October 11.
The motorist, Marvin Harris, was headed east in his 1999 red Chevrolet near West Grand Boulevard at 9:50 p.m. when he struck another parked vehicle and the two workers, who were working on sealing cracks on the concrete. The construction workers were occupying a lane that had been closed to traffic for their protection.
Harris and Castillo-Saavedra were both pronounced dead at the scene of the accident, while the second construction worker was transported to a nearby hospital and remains in critical condition.
Geno Alessandrini, Business Manager of the Michigan Laborers’ District Council told the public that the accident is a reminder of the inherent dangers of construction sites. “On behalf of the 12,000 members of the Michigan Laborers, we extend our condolences to the family, friends, and co-workers of Rafael,” he said.
The accident is still under investigation by state troopers.
On July 10, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a news release that outlines recent demolition-related fatalities that could have been prevented and provides information and guidelines to protect against accidents like this.
In its statement, the OSHA announced the updated version of its Demolition page – a resource site that aims to educate workers and employers about demolition hazards and prevention. The agency also said it recently provided demolition safety training to federal, state, and local government staff who manages construction safety in Philadelphia.
Nearly 1,000 citations for violating demolition safety standards were issued by the OSHA from 2009 to 2013. The most common violation was the failure to conduct an engineering survey prior to demolition to determine possible hazards.
If you have been injured at work, qualifying for workers’ compensation may provide relief to some of your financial concerns. To learn if you are eligible to file for workers’ compensation in Detroit, consult with a lawyer from Detroit Personal Injury Attorneys, by calling our offices at (248) 948-9696 today.