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Electrocution: Overhead power lines cause fatal workplace injury

Construction company owners may be able to prevent many workplace accidents by carrying out proper site assessments and addressing identified hazards before allowing workers on site. During evaluation of a worksite, it is important to consider the types of equipment that will be used. Sloping surfaces or overhead power cables can pose severe workplace injury or even life-threatening hazards.

A 34-year-old worker recently lost his life in a workplace accident that might have been avoided had proper note been taken of dangerous overhead power lines. According to a report by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, the fatal incident occurred at a road construction site on westbound Interstate 40, not far from Clinton, on a recent Wednesday morning. Officials reported that the construction worker was near where a dump truck was dropping asphalt into a paving machine.

The worker was apparently positioned on the back portion of the paving machine when the dump truck made contact with the power lines above. Electricity was conducted through the truck and the paving machine to the worker. The electric bolt caused the man to be thrown off the machine. He was rushed to the hospital, but his death by electrocution was declared upon arrival. The driver of the dump truck suffered no injuries.

The surviving family members of the fatal workplace injury victim are likely struggling to come to terms with the horrific tragedy. Understandably, they will also have to confront the financial consequences of his passing. Coping with the expenses of end-of-life arrangements along with the sudden loss of the worker's income can be overwhelming. However, financial assistance is available through the Oklahoma workers' compensation program. Covered dependents of deceased workers may pursue death benefits claims that will provide compensation to cover these expenses and ease the financial burden.

Source: koco.com, "Worker electrocuted in construction accident near Clinton", Zak Patterson, Oct. 21, 2015

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