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Authorities investigating bridge inspector's on-the-job death

Every human activity has its risks. Workplace risks are among the greatest we face in our daily lives. While some jobs are more risky than others, each has its dangers.

Workers' compensation requirements are in place to address issues when on-the-job accidents occur and a worker in Pennsylvania is hurt. There are also provisions in the law for benefits in the event of death, if that tragically happens. But filing for and obtaining the full level of compensation possible isn't guaranteed. Protecting one's rights may require the help of an experienced attorney.

An accident that happened along Interstate 279 in Pittsburgh just last month perhaps offers an example of how complicated such matters can be. What happened is that a 58-year-old contract worker was up in a cherry picker doing an inspection of an overpass when something went wrong and he was crushed against one of the overpass beams.

Pennsylvania State Police officials say that the incident occurred sometime before noon on June 19. Emergency workers responding to the scene apparently were able to revive the victim and get him transported to the hospital. He died later that afternoon at Allegheny General Hospital.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration was called to investigate, but at the time this is written there are no reports about any conclusions that may have been reached. Such probes often take months.

One big question that remains unanswered is whether the accident happened due to mechanical failure of the cherry picker or operator error. Resolution of that question is almost certain to play a role in any decision related to workers' compensation benefits issued in this case.

Source:, "Inspector on cherry picker killed on Interstate 279," Jacob Axelrad, June 19, 2013

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