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Gas line punctured after Colorado Springs project goes awry

A construction project that was meant to help install a future cable line under a street in Colorado Springs led to a serious, though injury free, accident recently. The construction crew that was working the project dug up the street and punctured a gas line, and Colorado Springs Utilities says the "area was clearly marked for underground lines." The source article doesn't clarify whether that was in defense of the construction project or if it was an indicator that they made a mistake.

In any case, this story highlights two things: the incredible danger that is present at any construction site, and the need for protective measures and aid for workers should a workplace accident cause them injury, even though no one was hurt in this particular instance.

To the first point, this story shows how even the simplest of jobs can turn ugly in an instant. This construction accident could have been truly terrible, with the gas leak leading to a fire or an explosion that may have hurt or killed workers at the scene. All it took was one lunge of a shovel, or one pull by an excavator, and suddenly a gas line has been breached.

This is exactly why workers' compensation and workplace protections are so important, especially in the construction industry. Terrible injuries can be suffered by unsuspecting workers, may it be due to negligence or simply because of a true "accident." People can suffer injuries that lay them up in the hospital for days, weeks or even months on end. They are unable to work and provide for their families, and they may not be able to return to the job, at least in a full capacity, once they are released.

Workers' comp allows these injured workers, who want nothing more than to get healthy and get back to work, to provide for their family and pay medical bills.

Source: KRDO, "Update: Contractor who hit gas line on Garden of the Gods Road faces fine," Chris Loveless, March 25, 2014

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