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Family of killed worker may qualify for workers' compensation

Construction accidents in New Jersey can arise from a variety of sources. Falls, dropped tools, cranes, overhead power lines, motor vehicles, scaffolding, as well as the use of heavy machinery and equipment are among the most common sources. However, other dangers such as confined spaces, carbon monoxide, trench cave-ins and improper training can also lead to serious and, sometimes, fatal injuries. A construction worker's death in April 2016 may have resulted from a not receiving appropriate training. The victim's family is likely entitled to file a claim for workers' compensation death benefits.

The 24-year-old roofing worker died at a worksite in another state when he fell over 33 feet while working on the roof of a city's community center. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has fined the roofing company he worked for in the amount of $77,000 in penalties. These fines were determined after OSHA investigators concluded that the company did not properly train the worker.

Specifically, OSHA says that the company did not train the worker about how to safely work at heights. The required fall-protection system was also lacking. OSHA investigators are said to have found numerous other infractions. These included the company's failure to supply fire extinguishers, poor electrical work practices and a lack of chemical hazards practices regarding the installation of synthetic roofing.

No workplace is 100 percent free from risk. New Jersey employers must strictly adhere to OSHA guidelines and applicable laws so that their employees can work in the safest environment possible. When a work injury does result in the death of an employee, his or her family is typically entitled to workers' compensation death benefits.

Source:, "OSHA fines Watertown company in fatal construction accident", Aug. 2, 2016

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