Worker dies, but employer never reports it

There is never a reason why an employer should fail to report a death on the job. The loss of an employee is a serious blow to the business, and it's also a terrible loss for that person's family. Leaving a family in the dark about what happened is unfair and unnecessary. When a death isn't reported, it might be harder for a family to seek workers' compensation benefits or to file a lawsuit against the company if it's necessary to do so.

In this case reported on Nov. 4, it was said that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is going to investigate a death in a North Platte workplace. The man died from injuries he suffered when he was involved in a workplace accident; that worker's death was never reported.

The 56-year-old man had been moving an aeration pipe at Frenchman Valley Produce when the accident took place. The pipe was supported by chains and a support, but when the support beam hit the man in the head, it left him with serious injuries. He was taken to the hospital in critical condition, and he died three days after the accident, on Oct. 27. Typically, businesses have only eight hours to report the death of a worker; this time, the business took no steps to do so.

Even if a person is taken to the hospital, that's not enough to qualify the event as reported to OSHA. The federal agency must investigate cases like this one to make sure workplaces are safe for employees, so reporting is vital to making that happen.

Source: North Platte Telegraph, "OSHA to investigate workplace accident," Tammy Bain, Nov. 04, 2016

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