Pennsylvania workers have the right to be protected from hazardous work surroundings. Employers are duty bound to provide a safe environment to ensure the safety of all workers, permanent as well as temporary. In addition, they have a responsibility to provide appropriate training in the safe operation of equipment in order to avoid a work injury or death.
A 52-year-old worker of Amazon died recently while on duty at one of the company’s warehouses. She was killed when she was pinned after a mechanical pallet jack smashed into some shelving. This worker’s death followed another incident in December when a temporary worker was killed on an Amazon property. However, the fulfillment center is not operated by Amazon, but a logistics operation that was acting as a third-party. Similar to the June incident, this worker’s death was also the result of malfunctioning equipment when a conveyor system crushed him to death.
OSHA investigations found Amazon at fault in the June incident. It cited the third-party and several staffing agencies who supplied temporary workers for the December incident. OSHA stated that an assessment of potential hazards should be done prior to employees being given assignments.
When Pennsylvania families lose a loved one as the result of a work injury, they will likely face financial hardship after having to pay for funeral and burial expenses. In addition, they will now have to face the future without the income and support of their loved one. Fortunately, the workers’ compensation insurance fund is there to provide financial relief to injured workers, or the families of those who lost their lives in a worksite accident. Families may seek benefits to cover end-of-life expenses, along with a lost income package for covered dependents of the deceased victim.
Source: electronista.com, "OSHA investigates accidental death at Amazon warehouse in Pennsylvania", , June 13, 2014