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Fatal workplace injury: Painter falls 50 feet from water tower

One of the most dangerous circumstances that workers in Colorado and other states can be exposed to is working at heights. Employers have a strict responsibility to provide adequate safety training, appropriate personal protective equipment and secure scaffolding structures and elevation equipment. By compliance with prescribed safety regulations, a fatal workplace injury may be prevented.

Unfortunately, some companies disregard workers' safety, despite citations and penalties issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for prior violations. An employee of a painting and sandblasting company in another state lost his life on a recent Monday. Reportedly, the company has a history of several serious violations.

The 37-year-old painter was working on a water tower at an elevation of about 50 feet. Under circumstances yet to be determined, he fell to the ground. The critically injured man was rushed to a hospital, but he was pronounced dead upon arrival at the hospital. It is not known whether the worker was wearing any fall protection,  including a safety lanyard to guard against an accidental fall.

As with any fatal workplace injury, OSHA has launched an investigation that will likely focus on the company's compliance with prescribed safety regulations and the circumstances that led to the death of the painter. The surviving family members of a worker killed on the job in Colorado may pursue financial assistance through the workers' compensation insurance program. The death benefits typically include coverage of end-of-life expenses along with a wage-replacement package for covered dependents that will be based on the average weekly wage of the victim.

Source: dailyrecord.com, "Painter dies after falling 50 feet in Denville", Michael Izzo, Aug. 16, 2016

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