In a prior post we warned about the potential dangers of post-clean up accidents and injuries. Government employees as well as private companies responsible for removing trees and debris after Hurricane Sandy are facing unpredictable elements and hidden dangers. In addition to dangerous tools or falls, many workers could be endangered by unstable structures. In a tragic work-related accident last week, a Connecticut employee was killed while trying to cut down in Middlebury.
The 53-year-old landscaping employee had climbed a pine tree and was entangled in the branches when it toppled over. According to witnesses, emergency rescue teams arrived to the scene immediately to treat the critically injured patient. He was brought to the St. Mary’s hospital in Waterbury and pronounced dead several hours later.
This tragic accident involving the employee of a landscaping company is still under investigation. The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the accident. Any regulations could be evidence of negligence and the landscaping company could be held liable and fined. As with any fatal work-related accident, it is important to consult with a private team of investigators who can identify the cause of the accident and all responsible individuals or entities. Experts can also determine if there were OSHA violations or safety failures which could have caused the accident.
In the event of a workplace fatality, a family is entitled to workers’ compensation benefits for medical expenses and lost wages. In this case the family of the victim may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits as well as any compensation recovered in a third-party personal injury claim.
Authorities and medical experts believe that this is only one of many accidents and injuries that will result from post-storm clean -up. Use of dangerous machinery, unstable structures and landscapes can pose dangers for crews. All agencies and companies must follow safety precautions to ensure the safety of workers. If you or someone you love was injured in an accident, an experienced attorney and expert investigation team could help determine if all machinery and tools were properly maintained and used, identify any OSHA violations, and determine if any individual or entity was responsible for the fall.
Source: CBS Local, “Connecticut man dies in tree cutting accident,” Nov. 4, 2012