In preparation for coming storms, a man operating a front-end loader was lifting rock salt when the 100-foot pile fell over onto his machine, killing the worker. According to police, the man was trapped under the heavy rock salt, which completely buried the front-end loader. The tragic workplace accident occurred in Morrisville, a Philadelphia suburb, at 3:30 p.m. on Jan. 2 at an industrial yard run by International Salt.
The rock salt was going to be used to cover roads, reducing hazardous ice and snow buildup during an expected winter storm. Police reports say rescue workers arrived at the scene and tried to dig the worker out with shovels. He was found dead still in his seat.
Pennsylvania employers are expected to make equipment upkeep and safety policies top priorities in the workplace. As a result, a serious industrial accident often leads to an OSHA investigation, prompting government officials to check machinery and procedures to determine if negligence or preventable events were involved.
Details about the victim's age and identity weren't reported, but if the man has surviving dependents, the family may be eligible for death benefits under workers' compensation laws. Fatal workplace accidents can be devastating for the victim's loved ones, who may suddenly lose substantial income, in addition to coping with a death in the family. In Pennsylvania, both full-time and part-time workers can receive workers' compensation coverage, and family members of the deceased may have the option to file a petition if an employer attempts to place fault on the worker.
Source: NBC, "100-Foot Rock Salt Pile Crushes, Kills Worker", Sarah Glover, Vince Lattanzio, Dan Stamm, January 02, 2014