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Workplace injury results in man's death before first paycheck

Starting a new job can be exciting, especially for young workers. Training plays an important role in the long-term success of any employee. In some industries, good safety training can mean the difference between a long career and a workplace injury or death. One Florida company is being cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for safety violations following the death of an 18-year-old worker.

The incident allegedly occurred when the man was involved in work to dismantle a bridge section. A bridge panel that weighed almost 1,800 pounds fell on the man, reports indicate, crushing him to death. Any work fatality is tragic, but in this particular case the 18-year-old had only been working at the job for a single week. As one OSHA director pointed out, the man had not even received his first pay check.

OSHA must push aside any emotional reaction and investigate each workplace death or injury dispassionately. In this case, OSHA found that the company was in violation of 14 different safety rules. Specifically, the agency cited the company for letting an unqualified person load materials and not removing punctured synthetic web slings. The company was also cited for failing to provide the proper training regarding unsafe working conditions and hazards.

The agency cited the company with serious violations, alleging that the company should have known or did know of hazards that had a substantial probability of causing death or injury. The OSHA director said the incident could have been avoided if proper safety precautions were taken.

Families who lose loved ones to such accidents may have a case for compensation against the employer. It's important to understand how existing workers' compensation plays a role in any case prior to moving forward with litigation.

Source: WorkersCompensation.com, "Florida's GLF Construction Corporation Cited Following Worker Being Crushed," June 20, 2014

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