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Massachusetts man crushed to death in workplace accident

Responsible employers make every attempt to create a safe work environment for their employees. Unfortunately, that is not always possible and accidents occur. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating a recent workplace accident at a Massachusetts seafood manufacturing plant that resulted in the death of one of its workers.

A 35-year-old man died after being caught in a rotary, turbine engine on a machine used to shuck shellfish. It took firefighters almost an hour to free the man's body from the equipment, according to reports. The man died on-site.

OSHA received an anonymous phone call about the incident. They then sent officials to investigate whether any safety violations had taken place that could have been responsible for the fatal accident. An OSHA spokesman said it is too soon to know what the expected timeframe for completion will be, adding the maximum time allowed by law is six months.

This is not the first time OSHA has been involved with the company that owns the manufacturing facility where this accident occurred, but it is the only known instance involving the death of an employee. In the two years that preceded this incident, the company was cited for minor OSHA violations. One citation, given in 2011, involved the company's emergency response program. It was settled the following year.

The family of the man who died are undoubtedly mourning his passing. It is always tragic when a workplace accident results in an unexpected injury or death -- whether it is in Massachusetts or elsewhere. The family may want to investigate their right to pursue a claim under our state workers' compensation insurance program. Death benefits are typically available for the surviving family of a worker killed in a job accident, with the proceeds designated to cover funeral costs and other end of life expenses as well as to provide a lost income package for the victim's dependents.

Source: Boston Herald, Man crushed to death by New Bedford seafood machine, Bob McGovern, Jan. 17, 2014

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