Cherry-picker accident kills bridge inspector

Many fields of industry require regular inspections by safety officials to make sure that the various component parts, as well as the finished product, are up to par and safe for their intended uses. While these individuals are looking out for the safety of the workers and the public who will be around these items, their jobs involve an some level of risk.

A man who was inspecting a bridge on Interstate 279 was recently killed during the inspection. He was inside of a cherry picker, which he was also controlling, when something went wrong and he was crushed by the beam. The victim was taken to a local hospital where he died. It is unclear whether the accident was caused by a defect in the machine or by user error. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is investigating the accident.

When there is a work related death or injury, generally, workers' compensation comes into play. Workers' compensation insurance is a program required by most states that exists to ensure that injured workers receive certain benefits if they are injured on the job. Benefits usually include compensation for medical care, retraining, benefits for permanent injury and replacement income. In the tragic circumstance when a worker is killed while working, workers' compensation can provide benefits to the victim's surviving family.

Workers' compensation covers a broad range of accidents and injuries and even covers some injuries that were the result of the worker's own carelessness. Not all injuries, however, are covered-and not all workers are covered. If the worker was engaged in unlawful activity, for instance, the injury will not be covered. Additionally, in some states, volunteers, business owners and independent contactors are excluded from coverage.

Source: CBS Pittsburgh, "Bridge Inspector Dies After Cherry Picker Accident," June 19, 2013

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