A worker for Frontier Group of Companies has died after an incident on Monday night at an old power plant in Mason County, West Virginia. Two workers were in the process of dismantling and salvaging materials at the former Phillip Sporn Power Plant in New Haven, WV (in preparation for the demolition of the plant) when a structure collapsed prematurely. Both workers were taken to the hospital, one died of his injuries and the other remains hospitalized.
The old Mason County Power Plant has been in the process of being dismantled for quite some time, and it is expected to be demolished in the very near future. An investigation into the incident is currently underway.
Operating heavy equipment while dismantling steel structures is extremely dangerous work, and in some ways, this type of work is actually even more hazardous than constructing the plant. While we do not yet know the details of how this happened, this tragic incident underscores the need for companies to adhere strictly to government safety standards and implement best safety practices to help ensure that their workers are fully protected. Additionally, when dismantling such structures, proper engineering design and planning is necessary to ensure structural integrity during the process. Negligent engineering or failure to follow properly engineered dismantling designs and plans are sometimes the cause of needless injuries and deaths.
At Bailey, Javins, and Carter, our hearts go out to the family of the worker who was killed at the power plant, as well as the surviving worker and his family. We have represented workers catastrophically injured during the dismantling of a plant like this one and understand the hazards associated with that work and the safety regulations that are often violated leading to injuries and deaths. As attorneys who have dedicated our careers to standing up for victims of workplace tragedies, we sincerely hope and pray that investigators are able to get to the bottom of what happened, so those responsible can be held accountable and further steps can be taken to help prevent fatal tragedies like these in the future.