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Untrained operator causes fatal forklift accident

Construction company owners in Missouri must ensure that workers are adequately trained for the jobs allocated to them. This is especially important for the operators of mechanical equipment on construction sites. All employees -- those operating construction equipment and workers moving about on the ground -- must receive safety training related to potential hazards. A September forklift accident in another state led to the company being placed in the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's severe violator program.

The investigation followed the death of an 18-year-old construction worker who was a carpenter's apprentice. According to an accident report, the young man was busy with concrete mixing for the resurfacing of a bridge when a forklift struck him. The worker did not survive the injuries he suffered.

OSHA investigators determined that the driver of the forklift was not trained to operate such a machine. Furthermore, he was allowed to operate the forklift while having physical limitations. The man apparently only had the use of his left hand. The company was also found to lack plans for swift action in the event of a medical emergency.

Company owners who disregard prescribed safety standards and commit violations that are willful and repeated are typically included on OSHA's program that focuses resources on severe violators. Any Missouri family who loses a loved one in a forklift accident or any other work-related incident may pursue compensation by filing death benefits claims with the workers' compensation insurance program. While the tragedy cannot be erased, the compensation for end-of-life expenses and lost wages may ease the financial burden typically caused by such a tragedy.

Source: fox21online.com, "OSHA fines Lunda Construction $105,000 in Bong Bridge Death", Raeanna Marnati, March 15, 2016

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