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Potential for workman's comp after fatal factory accident

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration exists to enact and enforce regulations that will help keep employees as safe as possible in their particular place of work. If an accident or fatality occurs, OSHA typically investigates to determine what happened and whether an employer did -- or failed to do -- anything that might have contributed to the accident. Colorado employees may be interested in an out-of-state case involving a fatal incident at a factory that OSHA is in the process of analyzing. The family of the deceased employee might file for death benefits as part of a workman's comp claim.

The accident happened on a recent evening at a factory that produces aluminum pieces. A worker had his arm crushed by an aluminum press and ended up dying from his injuries before first responders could assist him. There are not many details that outline precisely what occurred, but OSHA will be leading an inquiry and attempting to determine if the factory violated any safety regulations that might have caused the accident.

OSHA says that the company has two serious violations in its history and that citations will be given if inspectors find anything amiss. When any company is accused of OSHA violations, they have the option to pay the fines, challenge the ruling or set up a meeting with OSHA representatives to mediate the issues. It could take up to six months for the entire investigation around this death to be finished, and OSHA will likely have answers by that point.

Companies here in Colorado and elsewhere that violate OSHA's safety regulations risk their workers' lives and health. The families of any employees who are killed on the job can file for death benefits as part of a workman's comp claim. Doing so may be a way for them to recoup the costs that might come with a loved one's demise, such as funeral costs, medical bills, lost wages and other expenses. It will never bring back a beloved family member, but it can help those who are hurting to focus on the life that person lived instead of other matters.

Source: wkbn.com, "27 Investigates: OSHA checking on death at Niles factory", Amanda Smith, Aug. 6, 2014

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Eley Law Firm
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