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Sanitation Employee Fatality in Wastewater Tank

By Matthew Golitko on July 27, 2017

A wastewater treatment plantDanny Caldwell, a sanitation employee at the Liberty Avenue plant in Richmond, Indiana lost his life while performing regularly scheduled maintenance on a wastewater treatment tank. According to officials, along with a news release from the Richmond city attorney, Mr. Caldwell was found submerged in a wastewater clarifier tank on July 5th.

It is standard procedure for employees to work alone, which is why the body was not recovered until late that night. Sources indicate that the victim fell into the wastewater tank and ultimately drowned. Currently, the direct cause of this accident is being investigated.

To provide a safe environment for employees, OSHA has specific guidelines that must be maintained in the workplace.  Enforcing these regulations reduces the likelihood of tragedies as in this case. Indiana also has death benefits available to the family under Indiana’s Workers’ Compensation Act. These benefits can cover medical bills, funeral services, and loss of future wages to help support the surviving family members.

In addition to Indiana Workers’ Compensation Benefits, there may also be an avenue for recovery of Wrongful Death Benefits.  Often, waste water treatment plants are designed and constructed by other companies (not the city or municipality) that may have designed a defect into the system or not followed all precautions or standards required by Indiana law in the construction of the wastewater tank.

The attorneys at Golitko & Daly have a focused practice surrounding these complicated issues that arise when injuries or death occurs in the workplace. Contact our practice today.

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