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OSHA clears employer of violations in worker injury, death

On behalf of Jeffrey Frederick of Frederick & Hagle posted in Industrial Workers’ Accidents on Tuesday, August 6, 2013.

Sometimes a horrible workplace accident occurs that is not associated with safety violations in the workplace. That was the apparent case several months ago in the death of a Boeing worker who fell from a mobile platform to his death at a plant in a state other than Illinois. Recently, OSHA cleared Boeing of any violations in the fatal accident. The federal agency did, however, make some recommendations to make worker injury less likely for those working on what are called ‘Cell 90’platforms.

Platforms are basically scaffolding structures for workers to work on the exterior of a new plane. An OSHA compliance manager sent a letter to Boeing indicating no violations, but suggesting ‘refresher training for employees’ to prevent job injuries as well as providing lights for control panels for platforms. The 38-year-old industrial worker fell down a 20-inch gap between two ‘slider’ platforms created by one of the sliders not fitting all the way against the plane.

The worker was doing general assembly and bagging the aft portion of the plane on a 44 foot long platform. He lingered for ten days in the hospital before succumbing to his injuries. Boeing at the time had issued a statement saying it was providing counselors and that it was meeting with employees to discuss the accident and ‘further emphasize worker safety’. The company said it was also conducting an investigation and will take immediate action on any corrective measures required.

As in all of the workplace accidents and worker injury resulting in death that we’ve discussed in these blogs, whether in Illinois or elsewhere, the deceased worker’s immediate family is entitled to workers’ compensation death benefits. This includes statutory lost wages, funeral benefits and all medical bills and expenses. In some instances, the parties may wish to settle a death benefits case for a single lump-sum payout and a complete release of all further benefits. The family will generally feel more secure and will benefit from a strong and informed negotiating position if they use the services of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney.

Source: live5news.com, “No violations found in death of worker at N. Charleston Boeing plant,” July 30, 2013

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