Texas-based company cited for deadly workplace accident

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A Texas-based utility company is facing $7,000 in fines after an employee death that occurred during the summer. The workplace accident occurred in August in Eugene, Oregon, when the 31-year-old worker fell from the basket of a boom lift. The man plunged to the ground from a height of about 25 feet and was hospitalized for two weeks before life support was removed. He suffered such serious head injuries that he perished from the effects of the impact. Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspectors say they found several workplace violations after an evaluation of North American Power Line Construction Services.

State OSHA inspectors found that the company had exposed its workers to serious hazards in connection with the operation of a boom lift during the Aug. 9 accident. First, the boom lift was being operated on a slope, which may have made it less stable. Next, it appears that the decedent failed to attach himself appropriately to anchor points inside the basket at certain points during his work duties. The two other workers in the basket also failed to properly anchor rigging equipment to the basket's handrail while installing the antenna system on a cellular tower.

Construction and repair workers are particularly vulnerable to fall injuries because of the nature of their professions. These employees deserve to have access to all necessary protective equipment, and they should be properly trained. When workers are not properly informed about the use of safety equipment, they can suffer devastating workplace accidents such as the one described in this article.

Employees' relatives who are having difficulty recovering workers' compensation after losing a loved one on the job may benefit from consulting a Texas personal injury attorney. These professionals put effort toward helping their clients. They may be able to provide additional information about relatives' legal rights and responsibilities after a work-related death.

Source: The Register-Guard, "Utility line company fined over death of an employee" Jack Moran, Feb. 14, 2014

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