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OSHA finds fatal crane accident on the job was avoidable

The devastation California families experience when a loved one dies in a workplace accident will naturally be exacerbated by the knowledge that their death could have been avoided if proper safety measures had been taken. Two families in another state have to cope without their loved ones after an avoidable accident on the job that occurred in April. A recently completed accident investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) determined that the company is to blame for the deaths of the two workers.

The accident report states that the two workers were in an elevated bucket of a crane directly underneath high-tension electrical lines. The crane tipped over, causing the death of the two workers. OSHA reported that the instruction manual was found in the cab of the crane, detailing safety precautions that should be taken, along with operating instructions.

OSHA found the company guilty of willfully neglecting to provide proper training to employees prior to expecting them to operate the bucket truck. In addition, the supervisors failed to test the safety of the elevating parts of the machine. They also failed to follow operating instructions to safely set up and operate the crane. It was found that the company's failure to follow safety regulations put the workers in the way of harm, which ultimately caused their deaths.

Losing a loved one in an accident on the job may leave a California family facing financial difficulties. While in mourning, they will have to cope with funeral and burial costs, along with the knowledge that there will be no income. However, they may find comfort in knowing that the aim of the workers' compensation insurance fund is to provide financial aid to surviving families of fatal workplace accident victims. The process may intimidate some, however, and they may choose to seek the assistance of professionals who deal with workers' compensation claims regularly.

Source: heraldnews.com, "OSHA blames company for crane accident that killed two men", Neal Simpson, Sept. 25, 2014

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