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Fatal workplace injuries claims life of wind turbine builder

Falls rank among the most frequently cited causes of deaths on the job. This is despite the fact that any fall can be prevented with the use of properly functioning fall protection. Workplace injuries will not be prevented by issuing a worker with a fall harness that does not include a lanyard to secure him or her. Moreover, employers in Iowa and other states must ensure employees are trained in the proper use of fall protection equipment.

A 31-year-old worker from Manly recently lost his life in a fall accident that took place in Huxley. A wind turbine was under construction at the worksite where the fatal accident occurred. Reportedly, two men were descending inside the turbine when one of them fell about 40 feet.

Authorities reported that, although the man was wearing a fall harness, it is not clear whether there was a lanyard attached or whether any other fall protection was used. One possibility is that the equipment failed. Personal protective equipment must frequently be evaluated for functionality, and any defects that could cause malfunction must be addressed. The lives of workers depend on the quality of the fall protection with which they are issued.

The cause of this man's fatal workplace injuries is under investigation, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration will focus on determining the company's compliance with prescribed safety regulations. While this inquiry is ongoing, the deceased worker's surviving family members will be entitled to pursue claims for financial relief through the Iowa workers' compensation insurance system. Along with coverage of the expenses related to end-of-life arrangements, a portion of wage replacement will also be provided for covered dependents.

Source: kcci.com, "Name of man who died in fall inside of wind turbine released", Vanessa Peng, July 22, 2016

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