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City worker killed while trimming trees in New York

Tragedy struck a New York family last week when a worker fell and died while trimming trees. The 50-year old-man was hired by the town and was in a bucket truck trimming trees along Howe Road in Chatham, New York when the accident occurred.

According to the investigation, the man was 30 feet from the ground in the bucket clipping tree branches when the hydraulic support system failed, dropping the bucket and the man. He died of apparent head injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene. In addition to the Columbia County Coroner's Office and emergency workers, representatives from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration were also present during the investigation.

It has not been determined whether employer negligence played a role in the death. However, it may be the case that faulty equipment led to the accident.

Workers are entitled to work in an environment where safety precautions are made to protect employees from injuries, illness and death. Laws and safety procedures and rules were established and are enforced by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Failure to abide by these rules may lead to heavy fines, a closure of the workplace, and compensation for workers who become ill or are injured or killed due to the company's negligence.

If it is determined that negligence or an unsafe workplace caused the accident, the victim's family may be entitled to compensation, including but not limited to pain and suffering as well as future lost wages. It may be wise for the family to consult with a law firm familiar with work-related injuries to determine whether filing a suit against the employer, in this case the town, is a viable option.

Source: timesunion.com, "Man killed in fall from bucket truck when trimming trees", Accessed on Aug. 17, 2015

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