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Fatal work injury: OSHA cites trailer maker for teen's death

The worksites of industrial companies in New York and elsewhere typically pose a variety of safety hazards that employers must address. The results of an investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration into a fatal work injury that occurred at a metal fabrication plant last July underscores the importance of compliance with federal safety regulations. The tragedy involved the death of a 17-year-old who had just started the job when he lost his life.

The site of the workplace accident was a trailer maker in another state. Investigators reported that the young worker was underneath the loading table of a laser-cutter system. The machine was active during the time when the man cleared metal scrap away from below the table, and it unexpectedly lowered the table onto him. The table trapped him, and this ultimately caused his death.

OSHA says the company could have prevented this tragedy by providing lockout devices to machines that would eliminate the danger of their unintentional activation and movement. Furthermore, the employer failed to provide adequate safety training for employees to teach them about the dangers of working machine parts. OSHA proposed penalties of almost $120,000 for an extensive list of safety violations of which 16 were serious.

Losing a loved one at such a young age is naturally something that will cause extreme trauma to the surviving family members. Although they are entitled to seek financial relief, it might be easier to consult with an experienced workers' compensation attorney who can pursue compensation while they grieve their loss. Whenever an employee suffers a fatal work injury in New York, death benefits are available for surviving family members through the state-regulated workers' compensation insurance program. These typically cover the costs of a funeral and burial along with a portion of lost income.

Source:, "Teenage worker's death leads to six-figure fines", Dec. 30, 2016

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