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OSHA says company not prepared to handle injured workers

Colorado road construction crews often find themselves in remote areas where access to emergency medical services may be limited. Moreover, cell phone coverage could also be nonexistent. This could mean that injured workers must rely on their co-workers for help when an accident occurs.

The family of a man who died as a result of an on-the-job injury may never know whether his life could have been saved if his co-workers had been trained in first aid and had a way to call emergency responders immediately. The victim was part of a construction crew repairing a road damaged by flooding in 2013. Somehow, a truck at the site backed over him.

When the Occupational Safety and Health Administration conducted its investigation into the accident, it was determined that the company the man worked for had failed to ensure that the appropriate personnel received first aid training. In addition, the company did not have a contingency plan in place to contact emergency personnel in the event of an accident in areas where cell phones do not work. These violations are considered "other than serious," and OSHA recommended fines of approximately $3,800.

This man's death may prompt changes that could save the lives of other injured workers, even though any changes come too late for him and his family. Fortunately, his family may receive benefits from the Colorado workers' compensation system to help defray the financial losses incurred as a result of his death. Not only might funds be available to help with his funeral and burial, but his family may also receive a compensation package for the loss of his income.

Source: 9news.com, "OSHA completes probe into worker's death near Boulder", April 7, 2015

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