This blog recently discussed the serious nature of construction accidents for workers and their families but any workplace accident can be devastating for workers and families. Workplace accidents can sometimes, unfortunately, be fatal. A recent fatal workplace accident in a nearby state is a reminder of the sometimes tragic nature of workplace accidents. The 51-year old worker was killed while working at a supermarket distribution center. The workplace accident occurred when the worker fell between a tractor trailer and the loading dock it was pulling away from. A forklift transferring items from the truck to the dock then fell on the victim, killing him.

The Region 1 office of the Occupational Safety & Health Administration, which covers Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont, reported that from 2007 to 2017, 20 workers have been crushed to death by machines and other objects in New England workplaces. OSHA estimates that, nationally, forklifts result in 85 fatal workplace accidents per year. The most common injuries related to forklifts are crush injuries to the head, neck or back injuries when the overhead guard of a forklift strikes the worker.

Employers are responsible for creating and maintaining a safe workplace. When a worker has been killed on the job in a fatal accident at work, surviving family members may feel they have lost everything. The loss of the loved one can be the most difficult experience anyone faces and families of workers killed in fatal workplace accidents face potential financial turmoil associated with the loss at the same time as the unexpected loss of a loved one. Fortunately, workers’ compensation death benefits may provide an option for families to help them through an unthinkably difficult time.

Obtaining workers’ compensation benefits can sometimes be a complex process workers and their families should be familiar with. It is important to understand how to apply and how to confront any challenges during the process of applying for benefits that may arise.

Source: Boston Real Estate Times, “Worker Killed by Falling Forklift,” Jan. 25, 2017