A municipal worker in Roswell was killed when a water main break happened on Saturday, October 21.
The incident is still under investigation. But it occurred about 12:40 Saturday morning according to KRQE. The City of Roswell said OSHA is currently investigating.
According to recent reports, Roswell has been dealing with a number of water pipe issues, and as recently as August the City has to shut down a 48-inch water transmission line along West Country Club Road to install new valves. Several water mains have been reported busted over the last several years, due in part to the age of some of Roswell’s infrastructure.
“We are grateful so many New Mexicans serve their communities every day, and we are constant advocates for their safety as they work to make a difference in the lives of their neighbors, friends and family,” said attorney Brian Colón, Managing Partner of Singleton Schreiber’s New Mexico offices.
Roswell Water Main Breaks
Water main breaks in Roswell, New Mexico, pose significant challenges for both the city’s infrastructure and the safety of workers tasked with repairing them. These incidents, while not uncommon in many municipalities, can have far-reaching consequences, often resulting in injuries to the dedicated individuals working to restore the essential water supply.
Roswell, like many cities, relies on an intricate network of underground water mains to deliver clean water to homes, businesses, and public facilities. Over time, these pipes can deteriorate due to various factors, such as corrosion, soil movement, or extreme temperature fluctuations. When a water main break occurs, it can lead to a host of problems, including flooding, property damage, and, most importantly, interruptions in the water supply to residents and businesses.
The repair and maintenance of water mains require a skilled and experienced workforce. Workers must excavate the damaged area, locate the break, and then replace or repair the affected section. While safety protocols are in place to minimize risks, water main repair jobs can still be hazardous. Here are some of the injuries that workers can suffer as a result of these incidents:
Physical Trauma: One of the most immediate dangers to workers is the risk of physical injury during excavation and repair. Workers can sustain injuries from heavy equipment, falling debris, or cave-ins, which may lead to broken bones, cuts, and bruises.
Exposure to Hazardous Substances: Water main breaks can expose workers to hazardous substances, including contaminants in the soil or the water itself. These substances can cause long-term health issues, including respiratory problems or skin conditions.
Heat-Related Illnesses: Roswell’s hot and arid climate can pose additional risks to workers, especially during the summer months. Prolonged exposure to high temperatures without proper hydration and breaks can lead to heat exhaustion or heatstroke.
Electrical Hazards: In some cases, water main breaks can damage electrical lines or equipment. Workers may be at risk of electrical shock or burns while working near these damaged systems.
Falls and Slips: Water accumulation during repairs can create slippery conditions, increasing the risk of falls and related injuries. Slips and falls can result in sprains, strains, or more severe injuries, depending on the circumstances.
Repetitive Stress Injuries: The physical demands of repairing water mains can lead to repetitive stress injuries over time. Workers may develop conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome or back problems due to the nature of their tasks.
To mitigate these risks, cities like Roswell must prioritize worker safety through comprehensive training, proper equipment, and adherence to strict safety guidelines. Regular inspections and maintenance of water mains can also help identify potential issues before they lead to catastrophic breaks.
Water main breaks in Roswell, New Mexico, highlight the vital importance of maintaining a safe and reliable water supply. However, these incidents can pose serious risks to the dedicated workers who strive to restore water services promptly. Efforts to prevent injuries and protect workers are crucial in ensuring that these essential repairs are carried out safely and efficiently.
“Our hearts go out to the family of the person who was killed, and we hope all of Roswell’s workers stay safe and healthy,” Mr. Colón added. “If anyone has been injured, they should contact an attorney right away to help protect their rights.”