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Texas employee killed in workplace accident

A young man reportedly died in an accident in his workplace on Jan. 2. The 23-year-old man was an employee of a local home improvement store in Texas.

According to early reports, the man died when a stack of lumber in Lowe's Home Improvement fell on top of him. Witnesses called fire and rescue for help, but emergency workers could not revive the man. Lowe's closed the store and brought in counselors to help employees who knew the man and were on the scene when the accident occurred.

Though no one has yet identified a cause of death, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration sent representatives to the store to examine the scene and look for a cause. OSHA is the government regulating agency that investigates workplace accidents and helps pass new regulations to keep workers safe. In this case, the cause of the accident might relate to erroneous placement of the boards, employees not following safety standards or other issues.

According to an official statement from the Lowe's corporate office, the OSHA investigation is a routine investigation that occurs after an accident of this type. An investigation report from OSHA may be important evidence if the family members of a deceased victim wish to file a lawsuit.

Attorneys working on similar cases will often talk with other employees to determine if those workers identified safety issues in the workplace and if the store has a history of ignoring safety standards. Additionally, lawyers will look at the standards put in place by a workplace to see if they follow those recommended by OSHA. A lawyer can help their client determine if a lawsuit or workers' compensation claim is more appropriate in a specific situation.

Source: KCBD, "Employee killed by falling lumber at Lowe's Home Improvement", January 03, 2015

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