When an employee is injured or dies on the job here in Colorado, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration typically conducts an investigation into what precisely occurred. Its findings sometimes reveal that an employer compromised worker safety. The employer’s reasoning for doing so can vary, and could result in an employee needing to file for workers’ compensation. OSHA is currently investigating an out-of-state accident that resulted in the death of a man who worked for a concrete company, attempting to determine if his employer was at fault for his passing.
According to officials, the accident happened on a recent morning when a concrete tunnel had been elevated above the man in the area where he was working. For an unknown reason, the culvert slipped and fell on top of him. He did not survive and passed away there at the scene. Local police declared that the incident was an accident and have not announced any potential criminal charges, but the story does not end there.
OSHA is now investigating the event and trying to find out whether the man’s employer did anything negligent that might have caused the accident. The last known inspection by OSHA was conducted about six years ago, where the company was accused of a handful of violations. The area director of OSHA for the region stated that the violations were not uncommon to that company’s industry.
Whether or not the company is found to be liable in this man’s death, his family could still file a workers’ compensation claim. The claim could help them cover any expenses they might have incurred related to his death — such as funeral costs and related expenses — but it could also help them compensate for his lost income if they had been previously relying on it. Others here in Colorado who are in a similar situation may want to follow a similar course of action.
Source: argusleader.com, “OSHA to investigate death of Sioux Falls worker“, Mark Walker, July 22, 2014