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Federal government opens investigation into workplace injury

A government agency has launched an investigation into the employer of a man injured while working on a Georgia bridge. On July 16, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration opened the investigation into S&D Industrial Painting, a Florida-based company specializing in commercial painting. According to authorities, the man was painting the 13th Street Bridge, which crosses the Chattahoochee River, when he was hit by a metal object. He fell and became trapped in scaffolding, which was located 50 feet below the bridge.

The man spent two hours hanging over the river, and rescuers finally reached him after repelling down from a fire truck ladder. He was taken to a local medical center for treatment of his injuries, but is expected to survive. It was later determined that OSHA has previously investigated S&D Industrial Painting for three violations from 2009, resulting in fines totaling $3,200.

The law requires employers to maintain a safe workplace for their employees, under penalty of fines and possibly criminal prosecution. OSHA investigations can take months to complete, but when a workplace injury occurs, an injured worker might still be able to apply for workers' compensation benefits before an investigation is completed. A worker's compensation attorney could help a person who suffered injury file the claim.

By filing a workers' compensation claim, an injured employee might receive funds that cover certain costs associated with the accident. Damages covered by those funds could include medical expenses, rehabilitation costs and a portion of the wages lost while the worker was unable to perform his or her duties during recovery. An attorney could look over a client's case and determine the type of benefits he or she is entitled to and fill out the correct paper work for filing the claim.

Source: WRBL.com, "OSHA investigating incident that injured worker on 13th Street Bridge", David Hurst, July 17, 2014

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