Two men were cleaning a water tank in Pennsylvania when the job suddenly
took a turn for the worst. The men were working atop scaffolding inside
the 100-foot-tall water tower. When the scaffolding suddenly gave way
and collapsed underneath them, one man plummeted to his death and the
other was left suspended in midair for three hours.
Worksites such as the one in this situation always have inherent dangers.
Ideally no one gets hurt. Special safety gear and precautions are expected
to be used or taken. Still, accidents do happen and under Pennsylvania
workers' compensation laws, nearly all employers are required to carry
workers' compensation insurance. This insurance protects the employer
and the employee and provides employees that are injured at work with
workers' compensation benefits.
Injured workers are entitled to various types and levels of benefits depending
upon the nature of the accident and the resulting injury.
The first type of compensation they may be entitled to is for medical expenses
and treatment. This will help the injured employee pay for prescriptions,
time spent in the hospital, medical equipment and visits to clinics to
Secondly, injured employees may be entitled to compensation for lost wages.
This provides monetary support to employees who are not able to immediately
return to work or who are not able to perform work at the same pay level
as they were prior to the injury.
The third type of compensation for which an injured employee may be eligible
is specific loss benefits. This benefit provides compensation for the
loss of body parts such as hands, fingers or limbs or for the loss of
sight or hearing.
Lastly, in the very unfortunate situation that the injury is fatal, as
it was in this water tower case, Pennsylvania's workers' compensation
requirements provide compensation to the loved ones of the deceased.
Employers are expected to maintain a safe workplace. The mandate of workers'
compensation is one assurance for holding them accountable so that employees
and their loved ones receive due compensation for the pain, suffering
and grief that may be suffered as a result.
Source: Boston.com, "Worker left dangling for hours in Pa. water tower,"
The Associated Press, Dec. 5, 2012