LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va. – Serdar Yozgat died Dec. 16 after he was struck by a marble slab while working at a marble slab business in Sterling.
Yozgat, 27, and several other employees were moving slabs at the facility when the accident occurred, according to the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office. The business is located in the 21500 block of Atlantic Boulevard and has not been identified by officials
The sheriff’s office and Virginia Occupational Safety and Health Administration are investigating the death and do not believe any foul play was involved.
Authorities have not released any additional information about the accident.
Commentary on Serdar Yozgat’s fatal workplace accident
I was saddened to learn of Mr. Yozgat’s fatal workplace accident. It seems this young man was struck and killed while moving a marble slab. A fatal accident is disturbing at any age; however, when an individual whose life has just begun is particularly unsettling. My heart goes out to Mr. Yozgat’s family, friends, and coworkers during their time of grief.
Having worked as a personal injury, wrongful death, and product defect attorney for the last 30 years, I have encountered many accidents similar to this one. Many questions are raised in my mind, to which there are no answers at this stage of the accident investigation.
For example, did this accident occur indoors or out of doors? If out of doors, could weather conditions have been a factor? Was there a gust of wind that could have whipped the slab? Was there rain that could have made conditions slippery?
Was the marble slab being moved using equipment or with brute human strength only? If using equipment, what kind? Was the equipment properly serviced and maintained? Were the equipment operators properly trained? Was the work they were engaged in their usual job description or were they just lending a hand?
If the slab was being moved by brute strength only, how many individuals were safely required to move it? How many individuals were actually involved in moving it? Were they properly trained in heavy lifting? Were they using proper safety equipment? If so, were they using the safety equipment properly? Were all those involved in the accident employees of the company or were there any non-employees involved?
These are just a few of the questions that must be answered to determine whether negligence contributed to this tragic accident. Companies have a duty to provide a safe work environment to its workers. This includes proper training, safety equipment, supervision, and maintenance. A detailed investigation must be conducted to answer these questions and determine whether the company fulfilled its duty to provide Mr. Yozgat a safe work environment.
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