A worker at a Pennsylvania trucking firm’s yard was crushed by a trailer as he attempted to separate it from the truck cab. The Erie County Coroner’s Office has ruled that the Dec. 30 Millcreek Township death was accidental. There was limited information disclosed about all of the circumstances of the fatal accident, though it is known that the worker was pronounced dead at 10:22 a.m. at the yard at 6100 Wattsburg Road.
Firefighters from the Belle Valley Volunteer Fire Co and Millcreek Township police responded to a call for aid that came in at about 10 a.m. Millcreek Paramedic Service, the Perry Hi-Way Hose Co. and EmergyCare were also called to the scene of the workplace accident. Millcreek Township police conducted their investigation alongside the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
A family of a worker who dies while on the job may be offered workers’ compensation death benefits, but these benefits may not be enough to cover the family’s expenses, especially if the deceased worker was the primary earner for his or her family. If the investigation by OSHA reveals that not all safety procedures were in place and being followed, the family might be able to use the investigation results as evidence of negligence on the part of the company should they choose to decline a settlement and instead file a claim in court.
It is believed that Pennsylvania has one of the fairest workers’ compensation systems in the country, with medical expenses covered by the insurance company for any necessary, reasonable or related treatments. While coverage for medical expenses and a portion of lost wages is generally covered automatically without requiring proof of fault, declining a settlement and instead pursuing a lawsuit may require proof of negligence on the part of the employer.
Source: Erie Times-News , “Death of worker at Millcreek business ruled accidental “, December 30, 2013