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Slip, Fall and Trip Accidents

Deaths Resulting From Slip-and-Fall Industrial Accidents

Being injured on the job is not an uncommon occurrence for many people employed in manufacturing, construction and other industrial-related jobs. However, these days, being killed while at work is rarely an event that a worker would associate with even the most demanding of occupations. Sadly, every year, hundreds of people working in factories, on construction sites, in shipyards and railroad stockyards die unexpectedly and needlessly due to human error, employer negligence or just plain thoughtlessness on another person’s part.

Very few events in this life can prepare a family for the tragic loss of a spouse, parent or primary breadwinner as a result of a fatal on-the-job incident. Even more heartbreaking is the fact that many industrial-related deaths could have been prevented had safety procedures been in place to prevent such an occurrence.

As professional workers’ compensation death benefit claim lawyers at The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, we know that unexpected fatal job-related accidents can not only take a worker’s life, but these painful and shocking events often upend a family’s finances and throw the survivors’ lives into chaos.

While it is not unprecedented for an office worker or retail employee to die in the course of his or her job, those individuals who are employed in relatively high-risk industrial work environments often find themselves at much higher risk than the average white-collar employee.

Among the most common types of on-the-job accidents are the so-called trip-and-fall or slip-and-fall incidents. These kinds of personal injury accidents happen frequently throughout the Garden State, but the more deadly of these events are often in industrial settings.

Fatal Industrial Trip-and-Fall Accidents

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in Washington, D.C., reports that, on average, nearly 5,000 workers die unexpected during the course of their jobs every year. Many of the 90 lives lost each week in this country may have been saved if proper safety regulation were observed and enforced at manufacturing plants, construction job sites, shipyard and port facilities, and other industrial environments. Hourly workers and contract employees are among the victims in many of these preventable accidents.

When it comes to Trip-and-Fall/Slip-and-Fall deaths, these kinds of workplace accidents make up approximately 39 percent of all industrial-related fatalities all across the country, as well as here in New Jersey. As workers’ compensation death benefit claims attorneys, we believe that a large number of on-the-job deaths could be prevented. In fact, workplace safety guidelines already exist to help avoid unnecessary tragedies in the workplace.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has created safety regulations for nearly every aspect of factory, construction and other industrial work environment for the well-being of workers. Because Trip-and-Fall/Slip-and-Fall accidents are quite common, OSHA has many regulations to help prevent these kinds of incidents.

However, there are some companies, employers and management personnel that commonly ignore important government regulations to the detriment of many workers and their families. The following are a few of the OSHA standards that are often overlooked or circumvented, thus putting employees at risk on a daily basis:

  • Protection from falls on construction sites (OSHA Reg. 29 CFR 1926.501)
  • Communication of workplace hazards (OSHA Reg. 29 CFR 1910.1200
  • Construction site scaffolding (OSHA Reg. 29 CFR 1926.451)
  • Ladder usage on construction sites (OSHA Reg. 29 CFR 1926.1053)

Because falls are one of the most common causes of serious work-related injuries and deaths, companies must ensure that the workplace is setup to prevent employees from falling off of overhead platforms and catwalks, tripping on elevated or raised workstations, or falling through holes in the floor and walls.

Employers are obligated to make certain that the work environment is safe for their employees. As part of government safety standards, OSHA requires companies to provide the following provisions for fall protection at specific elevations depending on the type of workplace:

  • General industry (four feet)
  • Shipyards (five feet)
  • Construction sites (six feet)
  • Longshoring operations (eight feet)

In addition to the above listed standards, OSHA regulations require that fall protection be provided in areas where employees work over dangerous machines and other hazardous apparatus (such as open containers of extremely hot, caustic or toxic substances) regardless of the fall distance above such machinery or equipment. In certain instances, OSHA also requires the use of safety harnesses and lines, safety nets, staircase railings and handrails as additional safety measures.

Workers’ Compensation Death Claim Attorneys

Although prevention is the key to worker safety, fatal injuries often occur due to negligence or some unanticipated event. When an on-the-job accident does lead to the death of an employee, workers’ compensation insurance is there to help ease the financial burden that the loss of a loved one can entail. Every employer in New Jersey (with few exceptions) must carry workers’ comp insurance, which is a kind of “no fault” insurance program that covers injuries and deaths resulting from work-related accidents.

The legal team at the law offices of The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall can assist surviving family members recover the workers’ compensation death benefits due them under New Jersey law. This is very important for any surviving spouses or dependent children who have lost a loved one as a result of a tragic workplace-related accident, especially in cases where the victim was the primary wage earner in the family. Under such circumstances lost income is a large consideration when determining the family’s needs, but recovered benefits can also help to defer other expenses, such as funeral/burial charges, as well as costs for medical treatment prior to the victim’s death.

If you have lost a family member due to an industrial accident in Monmouth, Mercer, Union, Essex, Bergen or any other New Jersey county, we recommend that you contact Mr. Santarsiero at (800) 999-0897 to arrange for a free consultation. If you decide to have our law firm represent you and your family, we will fight for you on a contingent fee basis — no legal fees will be incurred unless we make a recovery on your behalf.

As experts in the field of workers’ comp death benefit claims, our legal team will help guide you through the claim process, as well as advise you on whether a third-party lawsuit would be advantageous to pursue for additional compensation under the laws of the State of New Jersey.