This is tragic - no matter what the circumstances. It is all the MORE tragic if indeed any employer has asked an employee to undertake work that is not safe and that employee has felt they could not say anything. Of course until all the circumstances come to light there is little point in conjecture about who was at fault - and nothing will bring back the life that was lost. A son, maybe a brother, a father, uncle, nephew, friend - all lost. All we can do now is learn from what comes out to save some other life.
I see everyone is quick to point out that perhaps employers put pressure on staff to work in unsafe conditions - but flip this thought around - why would an employer want to risk his MOST valuable asset - an employee? You can replace every tool you own, but you cannot easily replace a trained staff member. I have to say that we spend thousands on safety gear and training courses - and never once would I ever ask anyone to do anything that they did not consider safe. In fact as part of our induction process staff are given all my numbers and I personally tell them that if any senior staff ask them to do something they do not feel trained to do, or feel unsafe then they have my permission (and in fact I insist) that they say no - and they contact me. The problem I have is making sure they follow the health and safety rules and what they have learned at Site Safe etc. Also that they wear the safety equipment issued to them. You have only two eyes and two ears, you can't get new ones. Your safety glasses will NOT protect you sitting in the front seat of the van, nor your ear protection if it is not worn. I'll bet I'm not the only employer who experiences frustration when they come across a staff member not using what is bought and paid for! First and foremost you must look after yourself - not amount of money can replace you.