Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Falling Concrete Killed Excavation Worker at New St. Paul Ballpark Site.

Though I often Blog about work injuries, occasionally their are horrific tragedy such as todays death of a union heavy equipment operator in St. Paul.  As reported in the Minneapolis StarTribune today,

"A worker sitting in the cab of a backhoe was killed Tuesday morning when concrete fell on him during demolition at the site of a new ballpark in St. Paul a construction executive said.
The death of John Valek, 61, of Plymouth, occurred about 8 a.m. while he and others were tearing down and clearing the site of the old Gillette/Diamond Products building, a former 650,000-square-foot factory in Lowertown St. Paul.

“As heavy equipment operators were demolishing a building, a portion of the concrete structure supporting the building fell onto the cab of one of the backhoes involved in the demolition work,” Collin Barr, president of the Midwest region for general contractor Ryan Cos. said in a statement issued about 8 hours after the incident. “The accident resulted in the death of Johnny Valek.”
Excavation began in July at the site in the 300 block of 5th Street, near Interstate 94 and Hwy. 52, and was slated to last four months.

Fire Marshal Steve Zaccard described Valek’s death as sudden and came when he was hit by a piece of concrete measuring roughly 10 feet by 30 feet.  The excavation work was being done by Rachel Contracting, of St. Michael, Minn. Executives with the subcontractor were not immediately available to comment.

Randy Valek said his brother had more than 25 years of experience in construction. He said his brother had recently talked about what a tough job this demolition was.
“You got to watch out any time you’re around any equipment,” Randy Valek said.

At Atkinson Law Office we have handle many such death cases.  One would think that these cases are straightforward, but often issues arise as to dependency benefits, spousal retraining benefits, and death benefits.  If you or a loved one sustains a work related injury, one of our very experience lawyers is waiting to assist you.  Call today at 651-333-3636 or visit us at www.mndisability.com