Many career paths, especially those involving manual labor, can also involve some inherent risks for workers. These risks can be minor, such as bruises, cuts, muscle pulls or even broken limbs. However, for those jobs that also require use of tools and heavy machinery, or those that involve heights or proximity to other dangerous elements, the risk of injury can be significantly increased -- and the injuries themselves can be more severe.
Recently, in a tragic accident, a tree-trimmer was killed in an accident involving a high-voltage power line. The tree-trimmer, who was contracted through PPL Electric Utilities, was performing maintenance trimming work along a trail near the Lehigh River, keeping the tree branches away from the power lines. The trimmer came in contact with the power line, which caused two trucks to catch fire. According to a spokesperson for the utility company, the tree trimmer either fell or jumped into the river. The accident is currently being investigated by the contractor company.
When workers are injured or killed while performing activities within the scope of their employment, they, or their family, may be entitled to worker's compensation benefits. While laws vary by state, generally worker's compensation provides for payments for medical and funeral costs and benefits to the victim's survivors. In an injury situation, worker's compensation could cover replacement income and compensation for permanent injuries.
While tree-trimming may, to many, fall somewhere in the middle of the danger spectrum, because trees are often near power lines, the risk for workers can be increased. Work related death or injury can be devastating to the family of the victim. Worker's compensation payments can help reduce some of the financial burden and help workers return to normal life.
Source: The Express Times, "PPL reports tree-trimming contractor killed in accident along Bethlehem towpath," Sarah Peters, July 27, 2013