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Workers' compensation is there to help after workplace fatalities

The recent death of a forklift operator in a workplace accident in the Fuyao plant underscored the increased occupational fatality rate in Ohio. Although some suggest that the improved economy causes fatigue, stress and overexertion, ultimately leading to fatalities, safety authorities say compliance with regulations can prevent most workplace deaths. No family is prepared for the news of a loved one's death due to an on-the-job accident. However, their unanticipated financial burden can be eased by the workers' compensation insurance system.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 164 Ohio workers lost their lives in workplace accidents in 2016. The official numbers for 2017 are not yet available. Sadly, a tree service worker died in April after a front-end loader struck him. The next month, an employee of a freight company fell to his death from where he was on top of a load being raised by a lift truck.

In July 2017, a Macy's employee fell from a ladder at a customer center and suffered fatal injuries. Then, in August, a worker was crushed to death by a load that slipped off a forklift while he was below and directly underneath the forks. A trench collapse claimed the life of another worker in Warren County in December.

The reports that almost all on-the-job deaths are preventable makes it even harder for families to accept such tragedies. Along with the trauma and heartache, they have to deal with the high costs of end-of-life arrangements and the sudden loss of income can cause havoc with financial obligations such as rental or mortgages and daily living expenses. Fortunately, the Ohio workers' compensation program provides survivors' benefits to cover those losses, and grieving families may seek the support and guidance of an experienced workers' compensation attorney to navigate the claims proceedings for them.

Source: norwalkreflector.com, "Dying on the job: 164 workers killed in Ohio", Thomas Gnau, April 2, 2018

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