Is an OSHA investigation necessary after a fatal injury in Pennsylvania?
Pennsylvania – April 6, 2021
The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) is investigating the death of a man who suffered fatal injury after being pinned by industrial equipment in O’Hara Township last week. He was struck by an industrial tote containing 330 pounds of liquid while working at Alpha Aeromatics, according to Allegheny County Police Officials. Survivors of individuals who have been fatally injured at work should speak to a workers’ compensation attorney who can guide their actions toward damage recovery.
A workers’ compensation attorney can be instrumental in claims processing with the employer’s insurer and collaborate with OSHA and other investigative teams after a fatal work injury to determine any possible employer negligence. The State of Pennsylvania has a specific process to be undertaken when a person becomes fatally injured on the job. Emergency services should be called immediately after a fatal accident has occurred and the employer should provide the authorities with the employee’s contact information. Secondly, employers have eight hours to report any work-related fatalities to OSHA, even if an employee dies of natural causes on the job. Notification should be accomplished by calling, or in-person reporting at the closest OSHA location because OSHA does not accept written notification.
- Notification to OSHA should include company name, location and description of the tragic event, and the date and time of the fatal incident,
- Employee names and contact information of those who died must also be provided,
- When employees are injured and die within thirty day of the injury, the same procedures must be followed,
- Pennsylvania requires job-related fatal injury reporting to the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation within 48 hours of the tragic incident.
Survivor death benefit compensation.
Eligible survivors may be entitled to weekly death benefits, based on the employee’s salary at the time of the fatal injury. There is a three year statute of limitations to file for death benefits, but it is best to do it as soon as possible to maintain financial stability and access the burial expenses for deceased workers. Workers’ compensation attorneys may be instrumental in filing the appropriate paperwork.
Pennsylvania limits death benefits based on the State’s average salary, and eligibility determination can be a complicated process toward a workers’ compensation settlement, but experienced lawyers may alleviate some of the stress related to the financial stability of surviving family members as they mourn the loss of a loved one. Death benefits may be denied if:
- worker died while under the influence of drugs, or alcohol,
- employee’s work-related death resulted from self-inflicted intentional harm,
- employee committed suicide, although exceptions may occur if the suicide was a result of job-related mental illness. An attorney may need to prove this type of claim before benefits will be allowed.
Eligible dependents for death benefits include children, spouses, physically, or mentally incapacitated children and siblings, and fully, or partially dependent parents. A workers’ compensation attorney can explain the benefits based on a particular case.
Hire legal counsel.
Victims of loss should speak to a personal injury attorney in the Pittsburgh area after OSHA investigations are complete, to move forward with a workers’ compensation and/or wrongful death claim. Accident lawyers at Scanlon & Wojton will fight for damage compensation to secure financial stability for surviving loved ones and family members.
Scanlon & Wojton, Attorneys at Law
The Mitchell Building
304 Ross Street, Suite 510
Pittsburgh, Pa 15219
Phone: (412) 918-1241
Fax: (412) 235-7275
Man dies after being pinned by industrial equipment – WPXI