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Worker suffers fatal workplace injury in 50 ft fall from catwalk

Construction workers in Oklahoma, who regularly have to work from heights, may be aware of the dangers inherent in their occupation. The families of construction workers likely experience concern and anxiety whenever their loved ones are on duty at construction sites. While construction company owners are responsible for the safety of all workers, the occurrence of a workplace injury or fatality happens all too often.

A construction worker in another state recently lost his life at a power station that previously generated power from coal and then switched to the use of natural gas. A team of workers was instructed to dismantle a boiler that was no longer being used. One of the construction workers was walking on a catwalk that was between 40 and 50 feet off the ground when he fell through a steel grate. The worker died at the scene.

It was reported that 50 workers were injured and three killed at the same company in 1999. While company officials blamed workers for the accident at the time, the federal government disagreed, and the company received a $25,200 fine. The sheriff’s office reported that an investigation into the recent accident is underway.

Families of construction workers in Oklahoma that have lost loved ones as the result of a fatal workplace injury may be facing financial difficulty after having to face the expenses of a funeral and burial. In addition, the loss of income may exacerbate their dire situation. Most construction workers are covered by the workers’ compensation insurance fund, which aims to provide financial aid to survivors of workers who lost their lives while on duty. A family may claim benefits that would usually cover end-of-life expenses and a percentage of lost wages, along with additional monetary assistance for the surviving spouse.

Source: Tampa Bay Times, "Worker falls to his death at TECO plant", William R. Levesque, July 14, 2014

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