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Safety violation: Son witnesses father's 50-foot fall to death

Tree trimmers in Ohio and other states are typically exposed to multiple life-threatening situations while doing their jobs. Owners of tree-trimming businesses are responsible for the safety of their employees. One safety violation that is unacceptable is the failure to provide fall protection to workers who work at heights -- often on platforms or in buckets of cherry pickers or other elevation equipment. A workplace accident in a neighboring state recently claimed the life of a tree trimmer.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration reported that an investigation was launched into the death of a 49-year-old man who suffered fatal injuries while trimming a tree. Reportedly, the man was in the bucket of a lift truck that was raised about 50 feet to allow the worker to reach the branches that had to be trimmed. It is suspected that he cut a branch that struck the boom of the truck as it fell.

The impact caused the worker to be catapulted from the platform. Investigators said the employer failed to ensure the worker wore a safety harness that was properly secured by a lanyard to arrest any accidental fall. The investigation is still ongoing, but it seems this man's death could have been prevented by compliance with safety regulations.

As in Ohio, the surviving family of this man may pursue financial assistance with end-of-life expenses along with lost income by filing death benefits claims with the workers' compensation insurance system in their state. The son of the tree trimmer whose life was lost due to an apparent safety violation was working with his father and witnessed the fatal fall. It is not uncommon for workers to suffer psychological injuries after witnessing such traumatic events, and he may also need medical and psychological treatment. He will also be entitled to pursue workers' compensation benefits to assist with medical expenses.

Source: vertikal.net, "Another tree trimmer fatality", Oct. 6, 2016

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