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

Work accidents often leave behind grieving family members in need

Accidents can happen anywhere, at any time. However, it is the responsibility of employers to do all they can to ensure the safety of their workers, minimizing risks so that Arizona employees can do their jobs safely and responsibly without constant fear of work accidents. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration concentrates on worker safety, establishing regulations and trying to make sure that companies who fail to follow regulations are held responsible. When workplace accidents do occur, the workers' compensation program helps to ensure that injured workers or their families receive compensation.

Sadly, in situations like a recent case in another state, workers' compensation can only do so much when a life has been lost. OSHA recently fined Good View Roofing & Building Supply Co. over $62,000. The company allegedly had multiple safety violations that ultimately resulted in a worker's death in a tragic forklift accident in Nov. 2016.

The 58-year-old worker was transferring building supplies from a warehouse to a vehicle using a forklift, when a bag of mortar mix fell. According to reports, the bag blocked the forklift's front right wheel as it was descending a ramp. When the worker attempted to reverse, the forklift's back wheel went over the edge of the ramp. The 5-ton construction vehicle tipped over, and when the man attempted to jump from the cab, he was fatally crushed.

OSHA cited six violations to the company, concluding that the fatal incident was preventable. Hopefully, the company will use this as an opportunity to address the safety issues and prevent future loss of life. This may be small consolation for the grieving family of the fatally injured worker. While workers' compensation cannot bring back loved ones lost to work accidents, it can, at least, relieve some of the financial burden typical in the aftermath of such tragedies, giving the family one less source of stress. An Arizona workers' compensation attorney can provide counsel and representation in such incidents, fighting on behalf of deceased workers' families to get them the maximum amount of benefits to which they are entitled.

Source: CBS San Francisco, "Building Supply Company Fined For Fatal SF Forklift Accident", April 17, 2017

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