For anyone in Colorado who receives the horrible call that something has happened to a loved one at work, they understand that fatal workplace injuries can cause major upheaval in the lives of the surviving spouse and children. From the grief of losing a family member to funeral and burial costs to adjusting to one less income, families have a lot to worry about. Consulting a workers' compensation death benefits attorney, however, can help families get access to the money they will need to move forward.
A fatal automotive workplace accident that happened this past July has attracted the attention of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the federal department that is responsible for workplace safety has fined the employer. The automotive company will need to pay $63,000 for violations that led to the man's death. It is still unknown, however, if the company has fixed the conditions that actually caused the fatal injuries.
While it is important that the federal government does punish employers that fail to provide safe workplaces for their employees, money collected by OSHA is not shared with victims' family members. In order for a surviving spouse or dependent children to receive any money following a fatal accident, they must apply for death and dependency benefits through the Colorado workers' compensation program. This money is specifically designed to help family members coping with the loss of a loved one get back on their feet as they not only readjust to the family member's death, but also to the loss of his or her income.
The company in question was cited for repeatedly not inspecting "energy control procedures in the fabrication and tool room departments." This lack of inspections appears to have caused a conveyor to lower as it shut down, catching the employee and pinning him. Sadly, he sustained blunt force trauma that eventually took his life one week after he was injured.
Source: Dayton Daily News, "OSHA cites Dayton company $63K in worker's death," Thomas Gnau, Dec. 3, 2012
Our practice has worked for families struggling with the deaths of loved ones and you can learn more about Colorado death benefits by visiting our website.