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Jerome, Gibson, Stewart, Stevenson, Engle & Runbeck, P.C.
Helping Injured Workers In Arizona Since 1973

Falling sheets of glass leave injured worker dead

Many Arizonans who work in factories likely have to spend some of their time hauling heavy loads to a truck for shipment, to another part of the factory or to a dumpster for disposal. While some might think of this as a routine part of a job, it in fact can result in serious factory accidents that in some situations may turn fatal.

A man who had just started working at a glass factory recently died from an on-the-job-injury he suffered while trying to move seven large sheets of glass to a trash bin. Each sheet weighed over 100 pounds, and the man and a co-worker were transporting them on a rolling A-frame.

According to police, the A-frame destabilized. The man's co-worker, who witnessed the incident, said that the man stood still as the glass sheets came down, and each one shattered over him. The injured worker died at the scene. His parents, who both worked either at the plant or nearby, were promptly notified.

An investigation by the state's OSHA office is ongoing. Both the man and his co-worker who were hauling the glass had been on the job for less than a month.

The case illustrates the necessity of employers properly training new employees and taking other steps necessary to ensure that workers are safe when they transport heavy loads. Heavy loads can present a number of dangers to workers, especially when there is also the possibility that the load may fall down on top of a worker.

Even if one could argue that the victim could have quickly moved out of the way, the no-fault nature of workers' compensation places the responsibility for training the worker how to avoid industrial accidents squarely on the shoulders of the employer. Hopefully, the man's grieving parents will be able at least to get some support and financial help through their state's workers' compensation system.

Source: The Press Democrat "Man, 21, dies in apparent industrial accident at Santa Rosa glass company," Clark Mason, April 19, 2013

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