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Protecting the Rights of Injured Workers

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Death benefits may be available to family of deceased worker

Losing a loved one in a work-related accident affects every aspect of the lives of surviving family members. Even as a Colorado family grieves for their loss, their minds may turn to the financial impact of his or her death. Fortunately, death benefits may be available from the state’s workers’ compensation system, which may include a compensation package for the loss of the deceased worker’s income and money to help with the burial and funeral.

An out-of-state man’s family may have already applied for such benefits after he was killed by a piece of machinery in the factory where he worked. An investigation conducted by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration revealed that the machine was set to automatic by a supervisor since it was not in use while the employees who worked with it were at lunch. Not knowing the machine was not in “locked out” mode, the victim reached into the press to retrieve some aluminum parts that had not been processed.

The machine then automatically began a cycle, and the victim was crushed. The Ohio company has been cited with six violations designated as serious by OSHA. The investigation indicated that employees were not properly trained on lockout/tagout procedures, and machine guards were not installed to prevent employees from being exposed to moving parts while in operation.

The completion of the OSHA investigation comes too late to save the life of the victim. His family may never be the same without him. However, receiving death benefits similar to those offered by the Colorado workers’ compensation system to grieving families may help with the financial impact of his death.

Source: wkbn.com, “OSHA: Niles factory death was preventable”, Jonathan Stroshine, Feb. 4, 2015

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