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Fatal workplace accident remains unexplained

Industrial accidents in New York and elsewhere claim many lives every year. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently completed an investigation into the June death of a worker in another state. The workplace accident claimed the life of a 51-year-old employee of a coatings company in the glazing industry. Although investigators identified several safety violations and cited the company, the cause of this man's death remains a mystery.

During the glazing process, a crane hooks products and moves them from one tank to the next on the iodizing line. Investigators say the worker became trapped between the hook of the crane and the load bars of one of the dip tanks. Reportedly, he died at the scene of the accident.

Investigators were unable to determine the exact cause of this fatality. The business owner can also not say why the worker was in that position at that time. Inspectors identified several hazards, including a lack of safety guards to prevent contact with moving machine parts and unsafe walking surfaces. Furthermore, the supply of personal protective equipment was inadequate, and the company failed to train employees in the safe use of hazardous chemicals. OSHA issued several citations, and the company undertook to rectify dangerous conditions that the safety agency identified.

 Although the cause of this fatal workplace accident likely left the surviving family members of the deceased worker with many unanswered questions, they will be able to recover some of the financial losses brought about by the tragedy. The workers' compensation insurance system of their state, like the program in New York, will allow them to file death benefits claims. The costs of a funeral and burial will be covered along with a percentage of lost income.

Source:, "Coatings Company Faces OSHA Fines After Death", Trey Barrineau, Dec. 14, 2016

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