The safety and health of workers in Tennessee are the employers’ responsibility, regardless of whether they are permanent, temporary or volunteer workers. Workplaces must be free of known hazards, and employees must be informed of remaining hazards to which they will be exposed. This is particularly crucial with volunteering workers who do not necessarily have adequate training or experience for the job to be done, increasing their chances of suffering construction site injuries.
In a recent incident, a 69-year-old man was killed while he was working as a volunteer at a construction project at a church in White House. Reportedly, the incident occurred shortly before 9:30 on a recent Thursday. According to a spokesperson for the fire department, a wheel loader that was operated by a parishioner toppled over, landing on top of the volunteer worker.
Further information states that the worker was standing on a dirt pile when the loader with a 1,800Kg lifting capacity started to fall over. He attempted to get out of the way but failed. The volunteer worker succumbed to his injuries before he could be transported to a hospital.
The surviving family members of the man who suffered the fatal construction site injuries will likely have questions about their eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits. However, the state-regulated insurance program does not typically cover volunteers. An attorney with experience in dealing with the Tennessee workers’ compensation system can provide answers, and if they are not eligible for death benefits, they might have grounds to file a wrongful death lawsuit in pursuit of financial relief.