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Workplace accidents: Blatant disregard of rules leads to fatality

Employers in Oklahoma have to provide safe work environments for their employees at all times. Furthermore, all known hazards should be addressed, and with compliance to the safety regulations as prescribed by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), devastating workplace accidents may be avoided. The actions of a business owner in another state were recently regarded as despicable by OSHA after an investigation into a workplace accident that led to the death of a worker.

The investigators reported that the employees of a roofing contractor were provided with a conductive ladder, unsuitable for the area of work which was in close proximity to a 7,200-volt power line. When the ladder touched the power line, one worker was electrocuted. OSHA says the employer deliberately disregarded the safety of employees when another worker was ordered to complete the job within 72 hours -- without first addressing the safety issues that caused his colleague's death.

In addition to this willful violation, OSHA found that the required distance from a power line was not allowed when aluminum scaffolding was erected. Furthermore, roof workers were not provided with fall protection, neither were they trained in workplace safety. OSHA says the employer's indifference to safety regulations has brought about four citations for alleged serious violations.

Workers in Oklahoma should never have to work in conditions where known hazards are not addressed. Although such negligent company owners receive heavy penalties from OSHA for safety violations, workers who have suffered injuries in workplace accidents may pursue compensation in the form of workers' compensation benefits. Grieving families of those who have lost their lives at work may be eligible for death benefits. Workers' compensation benefits typically cover medical and/or end-of-life expenses and some level of lost income compensation.

Source: ehstoday.com, "OSHA: Roofing Contractor Ignored Electrocution Hazards that Killed Worker", Sandy Smith, March 26, 2015

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