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Connecticut inspects circus after 9 hurt in trapeze accident

All kinds of workers in Connecticut can be injured in an accident at work. Construction workers and those who work with heavy machinery may be at a higher risk for certain kinds of accidents, but they are not the only ones facing the possibility of serious injury.

Recently, Connecticut's Occupational Safety and Health Administration said it would inspect equipment before performances by the famous traveling Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey Circus. Nine performers were seriously hurt recently in one of the circus troupe's shows in Rhode Island when trapeze equipment failed, sending them falling 30 feet during a performance. Two of the performers are still in critical condition.

Investigators said the cause of the accident may have been the failure of part of the rigging that held up the trapeze. The investigation appeared to center on a 5-inch metal clamp which snapped during the accident.

After the accident, Connecticut officials said they would have to inspect circus equipment before they would allow trapeze performances in the state.

Connecticut's workers' compensation system provides benefits for most types of workers when they are injured in workplace accidents. The results of OSHA investigations can play a role in the process of getting benefits, but one of the advantages of the system is that it does not require injured workers to prove employer negligence contributed to their injuries.

Still, employers and their insurers are often reluctant to honor claims for benefits. At times like these, it's important for injured Connecticut workers to have the help of attorneys with experience fighting for their clients to get the benefits they need and deserve.

Source: ABC6.com, "OSHA investigates circus accident," Dana Griffin, May 5, 2014

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