A roof worker in a state next to Ohio was killed in a fall recently. This tragedy underscores the importance of wearing fall arrest protection when working at heights. In this case, an employee of a gutter installation company was installing guards on the gutters of a two-story home.
Reportedly, the worker’s girlfriend arrived just when the company owner drove off to collect supplies. Only minutes later, she called the employer. She said her boyfriend fell onto the roof of the first story and then rolled off and landed on the concrete driveway. He fell almost 20 feet and appeared to be experiencing a grand mal seizure.
Paramedics rushed the injured worker to an area hospital, from where a helicopter took him to another medical facility. He clung to life for seven more days, but eventually succumbed to the blunt force head injuries he suffered. It appears as if the fall happened because the worker suffered a seizure after working on the second story gutters for more than three hours.
Preventable fatalities continue to occur in all industries nationwide, including Ohio. Compliance with prescribed safety standards could have saved this worker’s life. His fall could have been arrested had he worn a fall harness. Furthermore, it appears as if the employer failed to assess the worker’s physical abilities and schedule him to work on more appropriate tasks.
When work-related accidents claim Ohio workers’ lives, the surviving family members are typically entitled to claim death benefits through the workers’ compensation insurance system. The benefits usually cover the costs of end-of-life arrangements and lost wages. However, if an employer’s gross negligence caused the worker’s death, there might be grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit. The best person to consult for answers would be an Ohio attorney with experience in both workers’ comp and wrongful death laws.