In a recent North Carolina construction accident, two young children were killed.
We oftentimes talk about the risks that these workers face on construction sites nationwide, but this time the risks reached into the community. According to NBC News, a 31-year-old construction worker was using a backhoe Sunday evening in a pit when the walls caved in on two children. They weren’t dug out until Monday morning.
“I kept grabbing what was in front of me…I wasn’t going to stop until I pulled them out. But I couldn’t save them,” said the children’s guardian.
Our Stanley workers’ compensation attorneys understand the risks that accompany construction sites. Usually we’re talking about the dangers that are presented to those who work on these sites. But we need to remember that these risks may impact others. No one should ever play or loiter on a construction cite. Not only are these grounds off limits, but they’re unsafe. It’s important that we relay these messages to our young residents. What they see as a fun, new playground can actually be a deadly construction site.
According to investigators, that pit was 20 feet deep and 20 feet wide. It had a steep entrance that led all the way to the bottom. According to the accident report, the children were at the bottom of the pit trying to get a package when the accident happened. What was later found in the investigation is that there were no permits issued to be digging on that particular site.
No one knows exactly why the pit was being dug. Some speculate it was a “doomsday bunker” while others suspect it would be used for illegal activity.
According to the owner, he was in the process of constructing a rammed earth home. That’s an ancient building method where builders use dirt to shape the foundation. Allegedly, the digging had been going on for close to six months. He said he looked into permits, but didn’t think he needed one at the time.
He says he didn’t think that the walls would collapse.
Whether it’s for home construction or commercial construction, the safest practice need to be a first priority to keep workers safe and to help prevent nearby residents from undue hazard.
The property owner said that the children were never granted permission to be on the construction site. But children will be children. He said that they loved to play in the backyard and would sometime sneak over without warning.
We don’t want anyone else to have to endure the pain and suffering that this family has. Make sure you talk to you young one about the risks that are associated with unfamiliar areas and especially on construction areas. Make sure your children are always supervised when playing outside and that they understand the dangers of leaving their designated play areas.
Under the doctrine of attractive nuisance, the property owner may be held responsible in this case. Damages for non-employee injuries will need to be pursued through a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.