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Man fatally injured at work, OSHA investigating

As would be the case anywhere else in the country, Colorado companies are required to provide their employees with a safe work environment. This includes providing safety equipment and training on how to use it properly. Otherwise, an employer could be seriously or fatally injured at work.

Recently, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration began an investigation into the death of an out-of-state man who fell several feet while working. The victim was installing insulation on some equipment from a height of approximately 20 feet. It appears that he was wearing the required safety harness, but it has not yet been determined whether the victim was wearing it properly.

Another worker found the man on the floor, but it is unknown whether any other workers at the Wisconsin paper mill witnessed the fall. Attempts were made to resuscitate the man, but his injuries were too severe, and he was pronounced dead at the scene. OSHA's investigation can take up to six months.

OSHA investigates every work-related death, whether it is here in Colorado or elsewhere. Investigators with the federal agency review a company's safety records and talk to people in the company -- employees, managers and supervisors -- to determine what happened and whether any safety protocols were ignored or violated. The facility where the death took place is inspected, including all equipment and working conditions.

While the investigation into this man's death is being conducted, his family will undoubtedly be adjusting to life without him. This includes the loss of his income and the expenses associated with his funeral. Fortunately, workers' compensation benefits are available for anyone injured at work and for their families in the case of death.

Source: wausaudailyherald.com, "OSHA investigating death at Mosinee paper mill", Alison Dirr, Nov. 18, 2014

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