An unexplained death occurred recently at a facility along the Ohio River at which cargo is loaded and received. It is not yet clear whether a safety violation caused the fatality, but an investigation to determine the circumstances that led to the worker’s death was initiated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. It is currently regarded an industrial accident, and investigated as such.

Reportedly, the body of a truck driver was discovered at approximately 8:30 p.m. on a recent Monday. Authorities say two rows of blocks pinned the deceased worker. The following morning, OSHA investigators arrived at the scene to launch an investigation to determine what happened to cause the fatality. The employer and potential witnesses were interviewed to help with the investigation.

A spokesperson for the Department of Labor said OSHA would also focus on the company’s compliance with federal health and safety regulations to determine whether any violations contributed to the tragedy. The Columbiana County Coroner and the Wellsville police are cooperating with the investigation. Safety violations can lead to fines and citations that would, hopefully, bring compliance and prevention of similar incidents in the future.

Regardless of whether their loved one’s death followed a safety violation, the surviving family members of this victim of a fatal industrial accident can seek financial help through the Ohio workers’ compensation insurance system. The death benefits typically provided by the program include funds to help pay for the end-of-life arrangements. Furthermore, a wage-replacement package may be given to assist with daily living expenses for a predetermined period after the death of their loved one.

Source: wfmj.com, “OSHA investigating death at Wellsville cargo facility“, April 11, 2017