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Protecting the Rights of Injured Workers

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Company denies fault after man is fatally injured at work

Learning that the death of a loved one in a Colorado workplace accident could have been prevented would naturally cause overwhelming trauma. A family in another state has to cope with such heartache. A federal investigation into the circumstances of a workplace accident recently revealed that the company’s lack of timely action was the reason for a man losing his life after he was fatally injured at work.

A company that produces a large percentage of worldwide titanium requirements is disputing the penalties the Occupational Safety and Health Administration proposed. The fatal accident occurred when a furnace exploded at the plant in March. The lid of a boiler was blown off the hinges in the explosion, and it struck a 27-year-old father of two children against his head. He did not survive the injuries.

During the investigation, it was found that the furnace system had been damaged prior to the explosion. In fact, it was determined that the company had been aware of an incident that damaged the furnace approximately one month earlier. OSHA investigators reported that no action was taken to repair the damage. The proposed penalties total $42,000.

Regardless of whether a company accepts or denies responsibility for a worker’s death, the surviving family members of workers who have lost their lives after being fatally injured at work may pursue a claim for insurance benefits. Covered dependents nationwide, including in Colorado, are entitled to claim death benefits through the workers’ compensation insurance program. These benefits typically cover end-of-life expenses along with a financial package based on the deceased worker’s income level.

Source: readingeagle.com, “TIMET Corp. disputes OSHA findings in worker’s death”, Steven Henshaw, Oct. 7, 2015

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