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OSHA plans to investigate death of construction worker

Representatives from the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration were on the scene of a fatal construction accident in Rochester, Minnesota, along with police and ambulance workers. The agency plans to follow up with a formal investigation after a 30-year-old man apparently died of head trauma when a large object fell from a telescopic forklift and hit him.

Police said that the accident happened at Main Avenue SE and St. Bridgets Road SE where a Microtel Inn & Suites is being built. Co-workers reported that they did not see the accident, but they tried to aid the fallen man after it happened by performing CPR. Friends of the victim set up a website to raise money for his wife and four children. Statements on the website praised the man for his kind heart and generosity.

The company behind the construction project is PLC, Inc. that had subcontracted the work to Far West Construction. In addition to the OSHA investigation, the insurance company for PLC, Inc. will be conducting its own review of what lead to the worker's death.

In workplace accidents similar to this one, the victim's survivors have a right to claim death benefits from the workers' compensation insurance of the employer. Filing requirements, however, can be strict, and insurance companies are motivated to keep settlements low. A survivor sometimes turns to an attorney to learn about the types of compensation the insurance is supposed to provide. An attorney might be able negotiate with an insurance company for an adequate settlement to cover funeral expenses and the long-term loss of income.

Source: KTTC, "Man killed by falling object at Rochester construction site," Toryn Hill, March 2, 2015

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