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Workplace accident at landfill kills 1 when slope fails

Each occupation in New York and elsewhere has its own hazards, and employers must assess the dangers and address them to protect the safety and health of employees. When safety hazards are overlooked, it could lead to a workplace accident with devastating consequences. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the tragic death of a landfill worker in a neighboring state.

According to the manager of the landfill where the death occurred, independent studies and investigations are underway. Reportedly, garbage and dirt buried five employees when a landslide occurred on Feb. 8. Four of the workers managed to get out, but the fifth man was overwhelmed by 40 feet of trash. Rescue workers searched for 48 hours before they were able to retrieve his body.

OSHA and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection are both involved in the investigation and working to prevent similar tragedies by shoring up the landfill. Furthermore, investigators are examining air, water and ground issues as part of an environmental assessment to determine why the slope failed and caused the landslide. OSHA will also determine the landfill company's level of compliance with safety regulations.

Whenever a workplace accident claims the life of a New York employee, the financial consequences that the surviving family members face can be overwhelming. Fortunately, the workers' compensation insurance program offers assistance with the costs of end-of-life arrangements. Also, the death benefits might include a wage replacement package to help with living expenses and financial obligations for a predetermined period after an on-the-job fatality. 

Source:, "Kersey landfill resumes limited operations after landslide death", Katie Weidenboerner, Feb. 24, 2017

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