The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has launched an investigation into a fatal workplace accident that occurred in New Jersey on a recent Friday morning. The incident happened at a worksite in Woodbridge Township shortly before 8 a.m. One worker lost his life, and two others suffered severe injuries, and workers’ compensation benefits claims will likely follow.
According to an incident report, workers were putting up a scaffolding structure when one of the poles was blown over by the wind. The structure was close enough to an overhead power line for the pole to make contact as it fell over. Two of the workers noticed the imminent danger and grabbed the pole to prevent it from falling onto the high tension wire.
They were not able to stop the pole, and both received severe electrical shocks. Paramedics arrived and rushed the injured workers to the hospital, where one of them succumbed to electrocution injuries, and the other worker survived but remained in a critical condition. Reportedly, a third worker suffered severe burn wounds, and he was transported to a different medical facility.
OSHA prescribes strict standards when it comes to structures such as scaffolds near overhead power lines, and investigators will undoubtedly determine whether those regulations were violated. Regardless of who was at fault, the New Jersey workers’ compensation insurance program will likely cover the medical expenses and lost wages of the injured workers. The surviving family members of the deceased worker can claim survivors’ benefits to cover end-of-life costs, along with a financial package to make up for lost wages. Dealing with benefits claims can be a daunting process, but an experienced workers’ compensation attorney can navigate the claims on behalf of injured workers and surviving family members.