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Plumbing company under investigation after Georgia worker death

The plumbing company Hardy Plumbing is now under investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for the death of a 25-year-old worker at the site of Riverwood Plantation.

The worker was killed when a trench he was working in collapsed on top of him, suffocating him to death. The investigation by OSHA will look into whether or not the proper safety procedures were being followed.

The plumbing company was working on the home at Riverwood Plantation when the accident occurred. Neighbors of the home said their street is very quiet and they were alarmed to hear so many sirens the day of the accident.

The victim was in the trench working on PVC pipe when it collapsed. Other workers on the site that day say the victim was roughly eight feet down when the collapse occurred.

One neighbor said the situation became very sobering when three other workers went knocking on doors asking for shovels.

"We saw a few people carrying shovels and then running by, you can tell they were looking for some," the neighbor said. "When they said they needed shovels we got them. And you could see panic on their faces, you could see other workers stopping and just wondering what's going on."

By the time the rest of the workers returned to the job site with shovels to begin digging, the victim was already deceased. The coroner pronounced the victim on-site after a field examination at 3:17 p.m. the day of the accident. The cause of death was determined to be asphyxiation.

According to the Columbia County Coroner's Office, the dirt filled in the trench, caused the worker to stop breathing, and squeezed his upper chest. The victim is a resident of Augusta, Georgia.

The coroner also said an autopsy would be performed at the GBI Crime Lab in Atlanta, but a timetable for results could not be provided due to the lab being backed up.

An experienced workers' compensation attorney can explain your rights in a construction workers' accident.

Source: WRDW, "OSHA investigating plumbing company after worker dies at construction site," Ben Billmyer, Jan. 05, 2017

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