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Colorado Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Father of 2 fatally injured at work when trench collapses

Construction company owners nationwide, including in Colorado, have significant responsibilities related to the safety of their workers. One of the most treacherous areas of development is trenches. Because there are so many known hazards related to trenches, employers must be fully aware of the required trenching safeguards, and they must also ensure that workers are educated. Every construction site must have a qualified person to evaluate excavations and identify potential cave-ins to prevent workers from being injured at work.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently completed an investigation in another state into a July trench collapse that claimed the life of a father of two. Investigators determined that the company failed on all levels of safeguarding the trench in which the worker died. The agency reported that compliance with safety regulations could have prevented this tragic death.

Family may seek workers' compensation benefits after death

The ideal situation at any Colorado worksite would be for company owners to comply with all the federal safety regulations and for workers to perform their duties knowing that all known safety hazards are addressed. After all, all workers are entitled to safe work environments. Sadly, the reality is that many employers focus on profits rather than on worker safety. A recent out-of-state accident appears to be the result of a disregard for worker safety, and it has left one family likely seeking workers' compensation benefits after the death of a loved one.

A 46-year-old worker recently lost his life in a trench collapse in another state. It was reported that the man's father, who was working with him, called 911 when he realized he had not seen his son for about 30 minutes. Emergency workers from the fire department rushed to the scene to find the worker buried in a trench. It was too late to save his life.

68-year-old construction worker fatally injured at work

Falls are the source of a significant number of worker injuries and deaths on construction sites in Colorado. Sadly, many construction workers die each year because construction company owners fail to comply with federal safety regulations. In many cases in which employees were fatally injured at work, investigators from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration find that the accidents were avoidable.

One such fatal fall incident in another state is currently under investigation by OSHA. Officials reported that the accident occurred on a recent Wednesday morning at a site at which a house was under construction. The circumstances of the accident are not yet fully clear, but it involved a worker falling from a height of about 12 feet. During the fall, the 68-year-old man apparently struck a beam.

Worker fatally injured at work when trapped underneath bulldozer

A worker in another state, who was still excited about the birth of his baby daughter a week earlier, sadly lost his life in an on-the-job accident recently. He had only been with the construction company for a couple of months when he was fatally injured at work. Construction workers in Colorado and across the nation have to face multiple life-threatening situations whenever they are on duty.

The accident victim was reportedly underneath a bulldozer that was on a jack, when -- for reasons still to be determined -- the heavy machine dropped onto the worker. Members of the sheriff's office and fire fighters rushed to the scene to find the bulldozer's wheel tread resting on the worker's body. By jacking up the bulldozer, emergency workers were able to get the worker out.

Workers' rights focus of OSHA and ISRA collaboration

Colorado workers in the scrap recycling industry may find comfort in learning that there a cooperative effort involving the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries promotes improved safety. Workers' rights include the right to work environments that are free of known hazards. Nevertheless, the number of workplace accidents within this industry seems to indicate that some employers have little regard for worker safety.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics for 2014 revealed that 27 workers lost their lives in on-the-job accidents in the scrap recycling industry in 2014. These numbers have caused this industry's fatality rate to be the fifth highest of all industries. The OSHA and ISRI program will not only promote safe operations, but it will pay particular attention to proper training and education to equip the workers with the knowledge to recognize hazards and address them in an appropriate manner.

Employee injured at work after company commits repeat violations

Compliance with federal safety regulations seems to be a nationwide problem. Some company owners in Colorado and elsewhere put worker safety second to company profits. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently expressed its disappointment in a lumber company in another state after learning of an unreported May incident in which a worker was injured at work in similar circumstances that led to citations only three months prior.

The May workplace accident resulted in a worker suffering a fractured leg after a piece of lumber was shot out of an overloaded machine. The investigation into this incident culminated recently and formed part of OSHA's National Emphasis Program on Amputations. OSHA said the lumber company continued to expose workers to unguarded machinery, pulleys and belts, and the amputation hazards that led to previous citations continued to exist.

Company denies fault after man is fatally injured at work

Learning that the death of a loved one in a Colorado workplace accident could have been prevented would naturally cause overwhelming trauma. A family in another state has to cope with such heartache. A federal investigation into the circumstances of a workplace accident recently revealed that the company's lack of timely action was the reason for a man losing his life after he was fatally injured at work.

A company that produces a large percentage of worldwide titanium requirements is disputing the penalties the Occupational Safety and Health Administration proposed. The fatal accident occurred when a furnace exploded at the plant in March. The lid of a boiler was blown off the hinges in the explosion, and it struck a 27-year-old father of two children against his head. He did not survive the injuries.

Injured workers: Sulfuric acid exposure leads to OSHA citations

Willfully exposing workers to life-threatening hazards in the workplace is unacceptable. Nevertheless, many companies in Colorado and other states continue to disregard basic health and safety procedures. When employers allow the lives of workers to be put on the line, even after injured workers have lost their lives, it is clear that their priorities lie elsewhere.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently responded to a complaint about unsafe workplace conditions at a laundry company that focuses on the hotel industry's laundering of fabrics. During the investigation, inspectors found several safety violations for which the company was cited after the death of a worker in 2011. None of these hazards had reportedly been addressed.

Truck driver fatally injured at work when struck by a trailer

Employees nationwide, including in Colorado, are entitled to coverage under the workers' compensation insurance system. Any worker who is injured while at work, even off-site, may pursue financial relief through worker' compensation. It is a no-fault system, so, regardless of who was at fault, those injured at work -- or families who have lost loved ones in workplace accidents -- may pursue benefits to assist with medical expenses and/or end-of-life costs, along with lost wages.

A 26-year-old truck driver recently lost his life in a work-related accident in another state that appears to have been the result of distraction. According to police, they were called to the scene of an industrial accident on a recent Wednesday morning. Upon arrival, police officers found the truck driver approximately 30 feet behind the vehicle. Responders from the fire department pronounced the driver dead at the accident scene.

Company disregards workers' rights with cadmium exposure

Colorado employees of companies involved in electroplating are exposed to life-threatening hazards. The Chemical process involves extremely hazardous chemicals, including lead and cadmium. In connection with one of its recent inspections, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently noted that, sadly, some employers disregard their workers' rights to safe environments by repeatedly violating safety regulations.

The electroplating company is based in another state, and OSHA determined the company had not established necessary safety programs despite being cited for exposing workers to cadmium and lead in 2010. Some of the repeat violations included the failure to provide informational training related to the hazards of cadmium exposure. Furthermore, initial exposure was not determined, and the employers failed to ensure that workers were medically able to wear their respirators when necessary.

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