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Workers' compensation applies to victims' families in a fatality

Construction workers here in Florida and elsewhere are often required to spend at least some portion of their workdays out in the elements. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires employers to account for potential weather-related injuries. When a worker dies on the job due to adverse weather conditions, the victim's family is typically entitled to workers' compensation benefits.

This might not be the primary concern of one Florida family who recently lost a loved one during a storm at a construction site right now, but it will most likely become a concern in the near future. It was around 2:45 p.m. and just about time to go home when the storm moved in, and the man was working on a lanai on an upper level of the building at the job site. A business owner next door to the construction site saw the building get hit by lightning and heard a loud clap of thunder that preceded a downpour of rain.

Even though the man's co-workers quickly began trying to revive him and emergency medical personnel took over when they arrived, it was too late. There was trauma to the man's chest and lower leg that was attributed to the lightning bolt. The biggest question on the minds of at least a few people is why he was even working at the time. Deangelis Diamond Construction Company reported that its safety team will be working with OSHA investigators to determine why work was not stopped as the storm approached.

In the meantime, the man's family is faced with the unenviable task of burying him. In addition to those unexpected expenses, his family has also been deprived of his income. The Florida workers' compensation system allows for the families of employees who are killed on the job to receive benefits to help with their financial losses. However, the system can be a challenge to navigate, and during a time of grief, the last thing the family needs is to deal with the frustration of paperwork and unnecessary delays. Therefore, it would be beneficial to speak to a workers' compensation attorney.

Source:, "OSHA investigating Bonita Springs lightning death", July 25, 2016

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