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Fatal workplace injuries suffered in accident on Iowa farm

Farm workers in Iowa are typically exposed to a whole lot of dangerous situations in the course of their day-to-day activities. As in any other industry, basic safety precautions must be taken to prevent workplace injuries. Sadly, lives are sometimes lost in workplace accidents on farms, and in many cases, the fatalities could have been prevented by compliance with safety regulations.

One such death was reported by the office of the Hancock County Sheriff on a recent Monday morning. Reportedly, the workplace accident occurred on a farm in Forest City. An accident report indicates that a fall caused a 46-year-old man's death. Due to unknown circumstances, the man fell into a silo chute, and he did not survive the 30-foot fall.

Although the sheriff's office has launched an investigation, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration said it would not be investigating this fatality. Reportedly, farms with less than 11 non-family workers fall out of the agency's jurisdiction. The man's death has been ruled accidental by the sheriff.

Workers' compensation insurance is not a given for farm workers in Iowa. Among other exemptions, there is a payroll threshold that is based on the farm's payroll for the previous calendar year. If there is uncertainty about the eligibility for death benefits after a loved one has suffered fatal workplace injuries while working on a farm, the surviving family members may benefit from consulting with an experienced workers' compensation attorney. A knowledgeable lawyer will be able to assess the viability of such a claim and provide guidance in the navigation of it. Death benefits typically cover the costs of end-of-life arrangements along with a portion of lost wages.

Source: globegazette.com, "Worker killed in fall at Branstad Farms in Forest City", Molly Montag, Oct. 5, 2016

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