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OSHA investigates after deadly work accident

After an employee died at his place of employment, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration stepped in. Five companies in California and other areas were issued citations for serious safety violations. The employee reportedly died in a work accident on a conveyor belt.

The companies were issued citations for not certifying that a hazard assessment of the premises had taken place. The violations were considered serious since there was a significant potential for physical injury or death that could come from a dangerous environment. OSHA started an initiative to vamp up the safety and health for temporary employees after an investigation.

OSHA fined the companies $6,000 each, requiring them to respond to the citations within a 15 day time period following notification. According to data compiled from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 16 percent of fatal work injuries involved employees who worked as contractors in 2012. In addition to the five companies who were cited, an Amazon location in Pennsylvania is being investigated after an employee died after the worker's pallet truck collided with some shelving.

A serious work accident is devastating for employees, and it is even more so for family members who learn that their loved one died while simply doing their job. It’s required by law for California companies to facilitate safe work environments for their workers. Families of the deceased have the right to file claims for workers' compensation benefits following the tragic accident. Death benefits typically include a lost income package for covered dependents, along with reimbursement for funeral costs and related end of life expenses.

Source: vice.com, "OSHA Cites Contractors After Amazon Warehouse Worker's Death", Jordan Larson, June 16, 2014

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