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Electric shock kills worker when backhoe strikes service line

Electrocution hazards exist on most work sites in Colorado and in other states, and identifying potential electrical hazards is a vital part of site inspections prior to commencing work. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires company owners to undertake proper evaluation inspections and address potential hazards. Workers must be made aware of dangerous areas to prevent incidents of electric shock and other occupational injuries.

A worker recently lost his life on a worksite in another state on which a crew of workers was installing a drainage system. It was reported that an operator of a backhoe was working in an area in which an electrical service line was present. The backhoe apparently hit the electrical cable that was encased in plastic.

A 42-year-old worker then reportedly touched the service line and was shocked by a bolt of electricity. He was apparently transported to the hospital but died later that day. No mention is made of an accident investigation, but OSHA investigations typically follow workplace accidents in which severe injuries or deaths occurred. Such an investigation will determine whether this man's employer complied with all prescribed safety regulations.

When a Colorado worker dies after receiving an electric shock or other workplace injury, the surviving family members are entitled to pursue compensation. End-of-life expenses and lost income are typically covered by the death benefits that form part of the workers' compensation insurance plan. Some families find the proceedings associated with such claims overwhelming and choose to retain the services of experienced workers' compensation attorneys to handle the process on their behalf.

Source: equipmentworld.com, "Worker killed after backhoe hits service line near Omaha", Wayne Grayson, June 24, 2015

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