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Crane accidents: Improperly rigged rebar falls and kills worker

Colorado workers typically rely on their employers to provide job sites that are free of known safety hazards. Although that is one of the standards set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, some construction company owners seem to have little or no regard for worker safety. Crane accidents have already claimed the lives of several workers, one of which occurred in another state in June. OSHA recently completed an investigation into that incident and reported that this fatal accident would not have happened had the construction company complied with federal safety regulations.

Investigators reported that the worker was drilling foundation holes at a site on which a housing construction project was underway. When one an 80-foot piece of rebar became loose, it fell 130 feet to strike a 42-year-old worker. While waiting for first responders to arrive, co-workers attempted to revive him, but, when paramedics arrived, he had already passed away. OSHA investigators determined that the load on the crane was not rigged properly and issued the company a citation. Other citations were issued for the company's failure to provide adequate training for operators of equipment, such as cranes, and also its failure to clear the area in the vicinity of a crane of non-essential workers.

OSHA said construction companies must ensure only properly trained workers are allowed to operate equipment and the rigging of loads must always be done by qualified riggers. Failing to follow these important safety regulations can lead to fatal workplace accidents. When lives are lost in preventable workplace accidents, the surviving family members suffer needlessly.

The loss of loved ones in crane accidents -- or any other workplace accidents -- entitles surviving family members to pursue death benefits claims through the Colorado workers' compensation system. Covered dependents will receive financial assistance to settle funeral and burial expenses. Furthermore, a financial package consisting of compensation for a portion of lost wages is typically also provided.

Source: missourinet.com, "Missouri drilling contractor faces penalties in fatal construction accident in Nebraska", Oct. 15, 2015

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