A Feb. 25 accident in Richland County resulted in the death of a 36-year-old Connecticut man. The individual was working on a tank truck at the time of the incident. As the hydraulic system of the vehicle failed, he was caught between the tank and the bed of the truck.
Reports indicate that the fire department was dispatched to the scene of the accident. Deputies of the coroner’s office also traveled to the scene. The following day, an autopsy was completed, which determined that the man died because of asphyxiation that was caused by his being crushed. The company involved was a machine shop that specializes in working with tanks.
Both the coroner’s office and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration will be involved in the investigation of this incident. A coroner may need to determine whether there were any signs of foul play or whether the incident was strictly accidental. Meanwhile, OSHA’s role after such an accident is often to determine whether a company has contributed to a serious or deadly event because of poor safety measures on the work site.
If OSHA finds that a company has been negligent in exercising safety protocol, there could be fines and other sanctions imposed. In some cases, there could be evidence of worker error contributing to a serious or deadly incident. In such a case, there might be a review of company training efforts to identify whether the worker involved was adequately prepared to deal with the type of equipment and situation involved.
A family dealing with the loss of a loved one after a fatal workplace accident might also face financial challenges because of the loss of the decedent’s support. However, workers’ compensation can provide some financial compensation to the surviving dependents in such a case. An attorney can often be of assistance with the preparation and filing of the claim for benefits.