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Construction accident claims life of 25-year-old in fall

Every life lost in a workplace accident that could have been prevented is one too many. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration maintains that every construction accident can be prevented by following prescribed safety regulations. Unfortunately, not all construction company owners in Missouri prioritize workers' safety and known hazards are often left unaddressed.

The agency will be investigating the death of a Springfield worker who fell while he was working on the fifth floor of an apartment complex. An incident report indicated that the 25-year-old worker was loading paint off an aerial lift when he fell. OSHA inspectors will determine whether the worker was wearing a safety harness at the time.

An OSHA spokesperson said falls remain one of the primary causes of construction worker fatalities, and, yet, many construction companies fail to provide appropriate fall protection to workers. Another contributor to fatalities at construction sites is lack of training. If workers are not informed about potential hazards, and not trained in the correct operation of protective devices, wearing harnesses will serve no purpose.

When a Missouri family has lost a loved one in a construction accident, they may pursue financial relief through the state's workers' compensation insurance system. The burden of end-of-life expenses may be eased by the death benefits that may be claimed from the insurance program. Furthermore, a financial package to replace lost income may also be awarded to assist dependents with living costs for a period following the loved one's death. This is typically based on the decedent's average weekly wages prior to death.

Source: news-leader.com, "Construction worker's death 'could have been prevented,' OSHA says", Alissa Zhu, March 25, 2016

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