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OSHA investigates unreported fatal construction accident

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 349 construction workers nationwide died in falls in 2014. Eighty one were roofers. Despite the strict safety protocols prescribed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, some company owners continue to disregard workers' safety. OSHA is looking into an October construction accident on a Missouri site that claimed the life of yet another roofer.

The investigation was launched after a family informed the agency of the death of a loved one on the construction site. Upon inquiries, OSHA determined that the company failed to report the 36-year-old worker's fall, hospitalization and subsequent death. Under labor laws, admission of employees to hospitals must be reported within 24 hours, and fatalities must be reported to OSHA within eight hours.

OSHA investigators found that the roofer was installing roof trusses when he fell 10 feet onto a concrete slab. He was rushed to a hospital but succumbed to his injuries later on the same day. The investigation will determine whether safety violations, such as the lack of fall protection, contributed to the death of this roofer.

Reading about the high number of construction accident deaths will naturally concern workers and their families. How will a family cope with the high costs of a funeral and burial, and what about financial obligations and daily living expenses? Fortunately, the Missouri workers' compensation insurance program provides death benefits to grieving families. Benefits claims may be pursued, and compensation typically includes coverage for end-of-life expenses. A percentage of lost wages may bring financial relief to the victim's dependents during this traumatic time.

Source: equipmentworld.com, "OSHA opens investigation after Missouri contractor fails to report roofer's death", Wayne Grayson, Dec. 8, 2015

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