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Death after fatal construction injuries leads to large OSHA fine

Construction company owners and contractors in Colorado are responsible for the safety of their employees. Regardless of whether the construction site is a multi-story building or a residence, hazard assessments must be carried out prior to the commencement of work activities. The failure to address potential risks could lead to fatal construction injuries that might have otherwise been prevented.

One such senseless death resulted in a framing contractor in another state receiving a $23,100 fine. This followed a May accident in which a 20-year-old worker fell two stories while working on the construction of a residence. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigators determined that the worker stepped on an unsecured piece of plywood that broke, and he plummeted into the building's basement.

His death reportedly resulted from striking his head on the concrete floor of the basement. OSHA reported that the workers on the site were not provided with fall protection, nor were employees trained in fall prevention safety. In all, the company was cited for six safety violations, including those already mentioned along with the failure to provide ladders that reach all access points and the failure to report the fatality within the prescribed time limit.

As with the death of this worker, surviving family members of Colorado workers who died from fatal construction injuries may pursue claims for financial assistance. Death benefits claims may be filed through the workers' compensation insurance system. Along with a financial package to help with the living expenses of dependents, death benefits awarded will also assist with the expenses related to end-of-life arrangements.

Source: chronicle.augusta.com, "OSHA fines contractor $23,100 for worker's fatal fall at Evans site", Tim Rausch, Nov. 24, 2015

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