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Employee fatally injured at work when he falls off man lift

Workers in Colorado who use mechanical equipment such as elevated work platforms do not always realize how hazardous their jobs are. The slightest error in judgment or concentration lapse can result in someone being fatally injured at work. This might have been the cause of an accident that recently claimed the life of a construction company employee east of Durango.

Reportedly, a 23-year-old worker was operating an elevated work platform when the incident occurred. A report by the fire chief indicates that the employee was a member of a work crew contracted to work on the bridge replacement project over Los Pinos River. Apparently, he was locked into the basket of a man lift, but when one wheel went off the road, he exited the basket to assess the problem.

It is suspected that when he then re-entered the basket to fix the lift, he neglected to lock himself in. The unbalanced machine continued its descent off the shoulder of the road, and the worker was ejected from the basket, which was at the height of approximately 40 feet at that time. Reportedly, he landed on top of a survey stick that was planted in the ground. His abdomen was punctured, and although he was rushed to the hospital, the wound developed a staph infection that claimed his life.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration will continue their investigation to determine the circumstances under which this employee was fatally injured at work. In the meantime, his surviving family members can proceed with filing a death-benefits claim with the Colorado workers' compensation program for financial assistance with end-of-life expenses and lost wages. They might even choose to use the services of an experienced workers' compensation attorney to navigate the claims process for them.

Source: durangoherald.com, "Worker dies after being ejected from lift on Bayfield construction site", Jonathan Romeo, Sept. 25, 2017

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