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Workplace accidents: New York tree trimmer electrocuted

Employees of landscaping companies in New York have to face multiple safety hazards. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently reminded employers in this industry about the safety regulations with which they must comply. This follows the death of a tree trimmer at a private residence on Long Island. Too many lives are lost in similar workplace accidents.

The incident reportedly involved a 39-year-old man who was an employee of a landscaping company. Apparently, he accidentally cut into a power line while trimming a tree. The worker was electrocuted at the work scene. OSHA reminds employers to ensure that only qualified tree trimmers with line-clearance work within the limited area of 10 feet from power lines that are energized.

Qualified workers must be fully informed of the operation and construction of the generation of electric power, along with the distribution or transmission equipment it involves. They must be aware of the hazards of electrocution by contact -- both direct and indirect -- and also the dangers of electric arcs. Tree trimmers must also be properly trained in the safety precautions to avoid electrical shocks.

The families of workers who have lost their lives in workplace accidents are entitled to pursue financial assistance available through the New York workers' compensation insurance system. While no amount of money can replace a loved one, the death benefits that are typically paid may ease the financial burden. The compensation will cover the costs of end-of-life expenses along with a percentage of the average weekly wage of the deceased worker.

Source: totallandscapecare.com, "In wake of tragic deaths, OSHA points to life-saving rules", Jill Odom, June 22, 2016

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