CASSIA COUNTY, Idaho — Two men died Jan. 25 and Jan. 26 in industrial accidents on job sites in Cassia County.
The first industrial accident happened at Gem State Processing in Heyburn early on Jan. 25. Authorities said a man fell about 20 feet from a structure at the facility around 3 a.m. He was transported to Cassia Regional Hospital, where he later died.
One day later, on Jan. 26, a 58-year-old man died after he fell about 20 feet while working on a silo at a BarClay Mechanical job site. That accident occurred at about 2:15 p.m.
Authorities have not released the victims’ names but said investigations into the accidents are ongoing, including those conducted by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Commentary on the Two Fatal Workplace Accidents in Cassia County, Idaho
These are both difficult accidents because of the nature of the work involved. From the reports provided, neither of these accidents involved construction or precarious situations. When an employee falls from scaffolding or a newly constructed building, it is difficult to understand why the employer failed to provide safety equipment to protect from such accidents. However, in accidents like these, people are more prone to look past an employers’ failure and rest fault on the employee. This is a mistake.
OSHA requires employers to provide employees fall protection for elevations greater than four feet in general industry workplaces. I question if this national standard was being adhered to? If not, how come? Employers are aware that employees across the nation fall to their death every day in general workplace environments. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration was designed to prevent this type of accident. If the rules promulgated are not followed, the rules promulgated have little effect. The safety procedures of both employers will need to be examined to determine if these deaths could have been prevented.
I have no information beyond what has been reported that suggests either of these employers did anything wrong. However, holding an employer liable for preventable accidents leads to safer work environments for us all. A company that repeatedly violates known safety standards needs to account for its actions. Understanding the details surrounding these accidents will help protect innocent families from losing loved ones in similar accidents.
I extend my deepest condolences to the families impacted by these tragic accidents.
Disclaimer: All the information in this post is from third-party sources or constitutes my opinion. These posts are not legal advice. If you are not comfortable with this post or would like further information, please reach out to my firm to speak with me.