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Unharnessed tree-trimmer suffers fatal workplace injuries in fall

According to regulations by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, any worker in an aerial lift or cherry-picker must wear fall protection such as a safety harness that is securely tethered at all times. Employers nationwide, including in Iowa, must provide workers with the appropriate personal protective gear and also train them in the proper use of it. Furthermore, to prevent workplace injuries, employees must be monitored to ensure compliance with these regulations.

An employee of a tree-trimming company in another state lost his life in a workplace accident on a recent Thursday. According to a police report, the 26-year-old worker was raised in the bucket of a cherry-picker to a height exceeding 50 feet. Reportedly, after cutting the top off a pine tree, the branch fell onto the bucket, knocking the worker off the aerial lift.

It was reported that the tree trimmer was not tethered to the bucket; in fact, he was apparently not even wearing a fall-protection harness. A witness reportedly rushed to perform CPR until emergency workers arrived; however, the worker succumbed to his injuries later that day. OSHA investigators will look into this workplace accident and determine the company's compliance with safety regulations.

Following the death of a loved one from fatal workplace injuries, the surviving family members can pursue financial relief to help them through this difficult time. Death benefits claims may be filed with the Iowa workers' compensation insurance system. Compensation typically includes coverage of the costs related to end-of-life arrangements along with a financial package based on the deceased worker's average weekly wages to assist the dependents with daily living expenses for a period following their tragic loss.

Source: sentinelandenterprise.com, "Police: Tree worker had no safety harness when he fell", Cliff Clark, April 9, 2016

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