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Over 30 workplace accident deaths in Georgia since October 2014

Georgia residents were recently reminded of the tragic 2011 death of a 19-year-old worker who lost his life in an on-the-job accident when the family was awarded $29 million by a Fulton County jury. The jury found that the company's disregard of safety regulations led to the fatal workplace accident in which the young worker burned to death. During Labor Day week, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration recognized the Georgia workers who lost their lives since the start of its fiscal year, dating back to the beginning of Oct. 2014.

The agency's records show that more 30 Georgia workers have died on work sites in that time period. The fatalities were not restricted to one industry and included six fall accidents involving falls from trees, through skylights and from upper stories of buildings. Thirteen workers died when they were struck by -- or crushed by -- heavy items or equipment, including a granite slab, a loader bucket and even a falling tree.

Four incidents involved workers who were crushed to death by heavy construction vehicles, and three died because the working parts of machines were not safeguarded. Other fatalities included electrocution, engulfment in grain bins, toxic exposure and vehicle accidents. Many of these accidents were likely preventable had employers complied with safety regulations.

Georgia families who have to cope with the death of a loved one in a workplace accident may be facing some financial difficulties. Fortunately, the workers' compensation insurance fund offers financial relief. Families may pursue death benefits claims that typically include coverage of end-of-life arrangements along with a financial package for the dependents of a deceased worker for lost income, which may ease the burden of living expenses and other financial obligations.

Source: investigations.blog.ajc.com, "OSHA list details how Georgians die on the job", Lois Norder, Sept. 9, 2015

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