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Head injury causes tree trimmer's death

Employees of three trimming companies in Illinois and other states have the rights to protection against workplace injuries. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration prescribes a list of safety regulations about the hazards of each industry. OSHA recently cited a company in a neighboring state after completion of an investigation into an August incident in which a tree trimmer suffered a fatal head injury.

Investigators said a tree limb struck the 25-year-old employee against his skull, causing his death. They determined that the employer failed to provide employees with training that would help them to recognize hazards and the precautions to take to prevent injuries. OSHA says each worksite in this industry poses unique risks, and a proper hazard assessment must be carried out at every site before work commences.

The dangerous equipment used in tree trimming poses additional dangers, and operators must be qualified to use it without endangering the lives of others. Investigators apparently interviewed witnesses to the incident along with coworkers of the deceased man. They concluded that the employer failed to assess the hazards and brief the workers before the start of work at the site.

At this difficult time, the surviving family who lost a loved one to a fatal head injury at such a young age will likely struggle to cope with the financial consequences of such a loss. As in Illinois, this family can file death benefits claims through their state's workers' compensation insurance system. The insurance program typically provides funds to help the family with settling bills related to end-of-life arrangements, along with a financial package to cover a percentage of lost wages.

Source: abc17news.com, "OSHA fines Columbia business following worker death investigation", Taylor Petras, Nov. 10, 2016

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