Most people reasonably expect that they will be safe at their workplace. Though some industries carry more risk than others, Alaska workers likely don’t believe they will be hurt or killed on a typical workday. When it actually happens, the event can leave many questions, as is likely the case in the recent death of a worker in another state, who reportedly drowned while on the job. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is now involved, and their findings may influence the victim’s family and their option to pursue legal recourse, including a workers’ compensation claim.
A dangerous worksite?
Officials say that the accident happened on a recent morning at a worksite near a stream. Reportedly, an excavator being operated by the worker in question fell into the reach, though it is unclear exactly how that occurred. First responders rushed to the scene and worked to free the victim from a depth of approximately 6 feet of water.
Sadly, in spite of rescue workers’ efforts, the employee was pronounced dead at the scene once being pulled from the water. OSHA is now investigating exactly what happened to determine whether the worker’s company is in any way responsible for what happened. If OSHA investigators discover that the company violated any set safety standards, it may opt to issue significant fines to the company. If this is the case, the company will have the option of contesting OSHA’s findings, paying the fine or requesting a meeting with OSHA reps.
What happens next?
Even if OSHA rules that the company did not commit any safety violations, the worker’s family typically have the right to file a workers’ compensation claim. This option is available to many in Alaska who may have been hurt on the job or who lost a loved one due to a workplace accident. Workers’ compensation is a benefit that many people may not fully understand, which is why working with an attorney may help those with questions.