The tragedy of losing a loved one to a fatal accident is devastating under any circumstances. When the death is the result of an accident that takes place at the person’s place of work, it might be due to the negligence of an employer. If this is the case, Colorado families may struggle to understand how an employer could allow something like this to happen. They might be able to collect death benefits as part of a workers’ compensation claim.
Two families from out-of-state might have the option of filing a claim for death benefits after the passing of their family members at the livestock feed plant where they worked. The accident apparently happened when some storage bins on the roof of the plant were overloaded and caused the building to fall in. Two men were killed, numerous additional employees suffered injury, and some had to be retrieved by firefighters. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration launched an investigation, as they typically do after a work-related fatality.
OSHA says that the company was in violation of several safety regulations, leading to the building collapse and the deaths of the employees. They have ordered the company to pay about $120,000 in fines, but the company has said it intends to challenge OSHA’s requested deadline for correcting the violations. According to officials, this is not the first time this company has faced reprimand from OSHA over citations.
No matter the outcome of OSHA’s inquiry, the families of the deceased workers have the right to file for death benefits as part of a workers’ compensation claim. Doing so may help the families to make up for lost wages they may have been accustomed to receiving, pay for funeral costs or cover other related expenses. Families in Colorado can pursue this option as well, if they have lost someone they care about as the result of what appears to be inadequate worker safety.
Source: therepublic.com, “Livestock feed company tells feds it will contest proposed penalties in Omaha plant collapse”, , July 30, 2014