Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.

Slip and fall injury blamed for thrift store employee's death

Only traffic crashes are responsible for more workplace deaths than fatalities caused by slipping, tripping or falling. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, about 15 percent of all on-the-job fatalities are linked to slips, trips or falls. Workers' compensation insurance provides benefits for injured employees, but doesn't cover harm to non-employees or worker injuries caused by third-party negligence.

A father of two, employed at a thrift shop, admitted problems earlier in life prevented him from getting on the right track. The store director said the employee was thrilled to move into a full-time job at the shop in 2012, two years after the man started working there part-time.

The 42-year-old was described as outgoing and helpful to co-workers and customers alike. The dedicated employee was at the back of the store on an early March afternoon, guiding a truck moving in reverse. Police were called when the unresponsive worker was found on the ground.

The investigating officer said there was blood on the man's face and the back of his head. The worker died from an apparent head injury after a slip or trip. Reports did not say whether the truck played any part in the workplace accident.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration opened an investigation. OSHA will inspect the site for safety violations and issue a report about the death. Companies that fail to meet detailed federal safety standards may be fined for noncompliance.

Premises liability cases involve injury claims against Pennsylvania property owners and other parties responsible for property care and maintenance. Damage awards are ordered when negligent defendants had, caused or didn't correct unsafe conditions like snowy or icy surfaces, uneven pavements or walkway obstacles.

Premises accidents are covered by home and commercial property insurance, which may not adequately cover damages inflicted upon accident victims. Liability claims help plaintiffs receive rightful compensation for injuries and deaths caused by carelessness.

Source: MLive.com, "Flint thrift store worker killed in apparent slip-and-fall remembered as hardworking, helpful" Gary Ridley, Mar. 07, 2014

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