A 50-year-old woman who was a longtime employee of Glatfelter, a paper manufacturer, died in a work-related accident in Ohio. The accident happened last week in the facility’s wood yard but additional details regarding how it occurred have not been released.
The Chillicothe fire department also responded and investigated fire damage at the scene. While we do not know the cause of this tragic accident, unfortunately, workplace accidents such as these are common in dangerous and unsafe environments.
A joint investigation is being conducted by the Chillicothe police and fire departments, the coroner’s office and OSHA to determine exactly what happened. It is also likely that OSHA will be investigating the accident to determine whether a safety violation was present at the worksite, and what precautions the employer could have taken to prevent the accident from occurring.
The manufacturer has had a history of safety-related issues in recent years. This past January OSHA issued an initial fine of $7,000 against the company for a serious safety violation, which was later lowered to $3,500 after the problems were corrected. Additionally, four incidents, one of which involved a crane, occurred at Glatfelter in 2011 and were reported to OSHA.
Anyone injured in a workplace accident like this is entitled to receive compensation for lost wages, as well as medical expenses, by filing a workers’ compensation claim. Injured employees are also entitled to additional benefits if they are temporarily or permanently disabled as a result of workplace accidents.
In this tragic case, the deceased worker’s family is likely entitled to seek death benefits from the Ohio workers’ compensation system. These include reimbursement for funeral and medical expenses. Additionally, when victims of fatal job-related accidents leave behind any dependents, they should be eligible to receive dependent death benefits through the workers’ compensation system as well.
Source: ChillicotheGazette.com, “Identity released in fatal Glatfelter accident,” Jona Ison, Aug. 7, 2012