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Construction accident: PPE failure causes fatal 50-foot fall

The California Division of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has launched an investigation into the recent on-the-job death of a worker. The agency was informed of the construction accident that occurred in Los Angeles on a recent Friday. Rescue workers from the fire department responded to a 911 call that was made by co-workers of the man in distress.

Reportedly, a 27-year-old worker who was wearing fall protection with an anchored lanyard was lowered down a well that was about 50 feet deep. For reasons yet to be determined, the rope became unleashed, causing the man to fall into some debris and a pool of water. Upon arrival at the scene, a member of the search and rescue team was lowered down the well.

The rescuer reportedly found the victim lying face down in the water. It was determined that the worker had already passed away, and the rescue turned into a recovery. The cause of death was pending a coroner's report.

Losing a loved one in a construction accident is a traumatic experience, and the surviving family members will likely face several financial hardships at this difficult time. Help is available through the California workers' compensation insurance system. Death benefits may be claimed through the program, and the compensation typically covers the expenses related to a funeral and burial, along with some level of wage replacement. This may assist the covered dependents with day-to-day living expenses for a predetermined period after the tragedy. The financial package will be based on the deceased worker's average weekly income.

Source: Los Angeles Times, "Construction worker falls into well and dies", Kim Christensen, Oct. 21, 2016

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