When asked about what they believe to be the dangers involved in the tree-trimming
industry, the first potentially injury-causing incidents that may come
to a Pennsylvania resident's mind are the dangers presented by falling
trees or branches. Although these dangers may be present in the industry,
it was a different type of
job-related accident that led to a Pennsylvania tree trimmer's recent death while on the job.
The 42-year-old Pennsylvania man that was fatally injured at work had been
performing his duties for a Pennsylvania-based company that had been contracted
by an electric company to clear the branches around power lines before
an upcoming 10-day music festival.
He was working in his truck at the time of the incident. He was trimming
over a river and canal and beneath a bridge when he struck a high-voltage
line. His truck caught on fire and he either fell or jumped into the water.
The coroner has not yet released the actual cause of the man's death
but is expecting to do so soon.
As is true of many workplace accidents, this particular incident is under
investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. OSHA
investigations can take as long as six months. If the investigation determines
that the accident could have been avoided, the employer may face monetary fines.
In addition to the penalties from OSHA, this employer most likely owes
workers' compensation benefits to the family of the deceased employee.
In the case of a fatal work injury, or an employee's wrongful death,
workers' compensation benefits most often cover medical expenses and
death expenses. In some cases, depending upon the nature of the incident
and whether the deceased family member was the breadwinner, the surviving
family members may also be able to recover lost wages.
Source: lehighvalleylive.com, "OSHA investigating fatal tree-trimming accident on Bethlehem's towpath," Sarah M. Wojcik, July 30, 2013