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Workplace injury: Overhead cable causes electrocution

Oklahoma workers in various industries are exposed to the dangers of electricity. In order to protect their workers from suffering on-the-job injuries, employers must do a hazard assessment on every worksite. Once safety hazards have been identified and addressed workers may be allowed to commence activities. While this forms part of the safety protocol of most companies, overhead power cables are often overlooked as a potentially deadly hazard. In some cases, such an oversight may lead to a fatal workplace injury.

This might have been the case in a recent incident on a farm in another state. According to a sheriff's report, a 31-year-old worker received a fatal electric shock when he was relocating a grain auger. The auger, almost 30 feet long, apparently made contact with an overhead electrical cable. Officials said no injuries to other workers were reported.

The state's division of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration arrived on site and launched an official investigation into the fatal workplace accident. This will determine whether any of the prescribed safety regulations were violated. Companies who are found to disregard the safety of their employees are usually sanctioned.

OSHA's enforcement actions may encourage companies to comply with safety rules that will ultimately provide safer work environments for workers. However, the family whose loved one died as the result of a fatal workplace injury will likely have to cope with several financial stumbling blocks in the aftermath of his death. As in Oklahoma, this family may pursue death benefits claims through the state's workers' compensation insurance program. Receiving compensation for end-of-life arrangements and lost income may ease their financial burden.

Source:, "Worker electrocuted at Rankin Farms", Corey Friedman, Dec. 1, 2015

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