Construction Workers Refuse to Return After I-65 Fatality
On Wednesday morning, Brandon Beau Dewayne Fiscus was using a concrete saw on an I-65 construction site when an SUV swerved into his workspace, striking and killing him. Now a spokesperson for International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150 says E&B Pavement contractors on the project will not return to work unless safety concerns are addressed.
According to an Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) official, the work zone met all safety requirements required by INDOT to protect the traveling public, but he also noted that decisions about work zone safety equipment for construction workers is “ultimately the decision of the contractor.”
Barrels, Barriers, and Buffer Space
In this instance, the I-65 construction site was separated from I-65 traffic by a line of barrels. 23-year-old Jasmine Tirado, of Merrillville, is said to have been switching lanes repeatedly just prior to the accident. She then drove her SUV into a barrel and directly into the work zone, where she hit Brandon Beau Dewayne Fiscus. Fiscus died of massive blunt force trauma. He was just 35 years old.
Union concerns center around the size of the buffer zone and the use of barrels instead of a concrete barrier. The workers claim the buffer zone between traffic and workers sometimes left no more than 12 inches between construction site employees and fast-moving traffic.
The union says INDOT was contacted about safety concerns related to the use of barrels instead of a concrete barrier on this construction site, but INDOT says no such complaint was received. In addition, INDOT spokesperson Matthew Deitchley said closing an additional lane of traffic for a concrete barrier would violate state policy on when and how many lanes can be closed at this site during the day. For now, part of the solution includes nighttime construction when the additional lane can be closed down, but questions about policies and procedures relevant to worker safety remain.
Have You Lost a Loved One in a Construction Site Accident?
Losing a family member unexpectedly can leave a family vulnerable. The attorneys at Wagner Reese have a long history of ensuring workers’ families are taken care of in the case of injury or wrongful death. If you’ve lost someone you love in a construction site accident and are unsure of what to do, give the attorneys at Wagner Reese a call. During your free consultation with us, we will listen to you and ensure you understand the legal options you have as possible remedies for the wrong done to your family. Call us today at (888) 204-8440.