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OSHA determines company responsible for worker's fatal injuries

Construction company owners and contractors in New York must assess the safety hazards on construction sites throughout all building activities. Each hazard must be addressed to protect workers from suffering construction accident injuries. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently said nine New York construction workers have died in fall accidents so far this year, and compliance with safety regulations might have prevented these deaths.

OSHA recently completed an investigation into the April death of a worker at a construction site in Brighton Beach. The 51-year-old worker was reportedly raking concrete that was being poured on the sixth floor of the building. Inspectors determined that there were no protective guards placed at the edge of the work area, and the worker fell to his death.

The report indicates that none of the workers were provided with lifelines and harnesses that would have minimized fall hazards. OSHA also found other dangerous areas that were not protected by guard railings, such as stairways and floor holes. It ruled that the construction company's failure to comply with safety regulations caused the worker's death.

OSHA proposed fines of $84,600, and workers at this company may face fewer hazards in the future, but this penalty is of no help to the family members of the New York man who lost his life when he suffered fatal workplace injuries. Such an untimely death of a loved one can have severe financial consequences. Fortunately, some level of relief is available through the death benefits offered to the victim's family by the workers' compensation system. In addition to funeral and burial expenses, a financial package that is commonly based on the last income level of the deceased worker is typically provided to the accident victim's covered dependents.

Source: workerscompensation.com, "Brooklyn Contractor Cited for Fatal Worker Fall", Oct. 6, 2015

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