A tragic workplace accident claimed the life of a Massachusetts man on Tuesday. The 26-year-old, who had been working with a Holliston landscaping company for 10 years, was reportedly trimming trees with a chainsaw when the chainsaw hit a powerline.
The worker was shocked and suffered severe burn injuries. According to reports, emergency responders had a difficult time reaching the worker at first because he was in an aerial bucket and there was concern that the lifting device had also been electrically charged.
Emergency responders finally reached the worker after the aerial lift had been moved away from the power lines. He was then taken by helicopter to a hospital in Boston where he died.
Co-workers of the man said they are stricken by grief as a result of the accident. They said only a week earlier they had celebrated the man’s 10 years with the company.
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration has opened an investigation into the incident, which will determine if any workplace safety violations contributed to the accident. The investigation is expected to take up to six months, and if safety violations are discovered, the employer could potentially face serious OSHA fines.
Workplace accidents involving electrocutions are often catastrophic. Workers who survive the accidents are often left in excruciating pain and need many surgeries. That’s why it’s so important that safety rules are strictly adhered to when workers are in close proximity to power lines.
Following serious workplace accidents, workers or their families often have several ways in which they may be entitled to compensation, including through workers’ compensation benefits, a third-party injury claim or a disability benefits claim.
Source: MetroWest Daily News, “Grieving process begins in death of tree worker,” Joe O’Connell, Aug. 22, 2013