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Bridge construction accident claims lives of 2 workers

Missouri construction workers and their families are likely concerned about the potential dangers associated with their chosen occupation. Considering that statistics show that there were 4,628 work-related fatalities in the United States in 2012, their concern would be justified. Although employers are responsible for the welfare of their workers, the high number of incidents seems to indicate a disregard of the strict safety regulations that are prescribed by OSHA to prevent a construction accident.

A bridge construction company in another state was recently heavily penalized by OSHA after an accident that claimed the lives of two workers. The company is also facing lawsuits brought by the families of the two deceased workers. It was reported that the two men were 90 feet off the ground in a lift while working on a bridge's construction. An unspecified malfunction caused the lift to fall, causing the death of both workers.

OSHA reported that most fatalities involve fall accidents that could have been avoided by the companies providing the prescribed fall protection. It was determined that the construction company willfully disregarded the safety of their workers. The employer is expected to assess the potential hazards of a working site and provide the necessary means to protect workers from possible death or severe personal injury.

Missouri families that have lost loved ones in a construction accident will likely be facing financial difficulties after having to settle funeral and burial costs, along with other final expenses related to death. Most construction workers are covered by the workers’ compensation insurance fund, and the families of eligible members may claim benefits from the fund. The compensation typically covers end-of-life expenses, along with certain benefits for the surviving family members. A portion of lost income may also form part of the compensation. Individuals who are intimidated by complex claiming procedures may want to obtain advice from available sources.

Source: al.com, "OSHA issues safety violations to bridge company following fatal fall of two workers in Montgomery", Erin Edgemon, July 8, 2014

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