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Workers' compensation benefits may ease financial burden

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently announced the conclusions of an investigation into the death of a 61-year-old employee of Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. in March. The fatal workplace accident occurred at one of the Ohio-based company's facilities in another state. Although such investigations can take months to complete, the surviving family members can take steps to file workers' compensation death benefits claims immediately after the tragedy.

Reportedly, the deceased worker was assigned to the company by a personnel services firm to work in its stores. This was where a falling object served a blow to his head – causing his death. Investigators determined that the storage area posed several hazards, including various metal objects of different lengths and diameters that were unrestrained against a wall. OSHA issued one citation for this violation.

Investigators also identified electrical shock hazards at the plant when they found two damaged pendant control boxes -- resulting in another citation. The third one involved dangerous chain slings, which can pose life-threatening hazards if they are not regularly inspected. One chain was last examined in Aug. 2013 while three others went uninspected for more than 16 months.

The proposed fines of almost $28,000 may lead to safer workplace environments for the remaining employees, but for one man, it came too late. Whenever a life is lost in a fatal accident on the job in Ohio, the workers' compensation program allows surviving family members to file death benefits claims. These typically bring financial relief by covering the costs of end-of-life arrangements, and it might include lost income benefits to assist with financial obligations such as rental or mortgage payments.

Source: crainscleveland.com, "OSHA fines Goodyear over Kansas plant fatality", Miles Moore, June 9, 2017

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