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OSHA claims fatal workplace injuries could have been prevented

Many workplace accidents in California and across the country are unforeseen and occur despite the many safety precautions that are in place. However, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration claims that a recent investigation reveals that an out-of-state accident could have been prevented. The accident resulted in workplace injuries that proved fatal for a 19-year-old man.

There were no witnesses to the accident; the injured man was discovered by a plant foreman afterward. At the time of his discovery, he was reportedly suffering from a severe wound to the side of his head. While CPR was administered, the man ultimately passed away as a result of the injuries he suffered. A representative for OSHA claims that he was working a debarking machine at the time of the accident.

Officials believe that he was struck in the side of the head by a log. They further claim that the accident would not have happened if the employer, Ozark Stave Company, had additional safety measures in place. According to OSHA, it is the employer's responsibility to ensure that such measures are in place and that employees are trained on how to safely use equipment.

OSHA is still working to finish its full investigation, but the sheriff's office has stated that the young man's death was not a result of foul play. Because the financial implications of workplace injuries, whether fatal or resulting in a survivable injury, can often be severe, California requires employers to provide workers' compensation insurance coverage. These benefits often extend to certain family members in the event of a fatality and provide for lost wages and funeral costs.

Source: monett-times.com, "OSHA deems fatality at Ozark Stave 'preventable'", Murray Bishoff, July 22, 2016

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