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Automobile Collisions / Workers' Compensation

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Wisconsin firm cited for second crane accident death

Injuries and death are daily possibilities for workers in dangerous professions. Wisconsin construction workers may suffer back or neck injuries in the course of regular duties or become victims of on-site accidents, sometimes caused by an employer's negligence. Injured workers and families of employees who die on the job are due workers' compensation benefits.

A Black River Falls construction company and a Menomonee Falls subcontractor have been cited for federal work safety violations. This was not the first time Lunda Construction Inc. was issued citations linked to a worker's death.

OSHA charged the Wisconsin construction firm in October with three serious violations after an employee died at a construction site. The worker was killed near De Pere on U.S. Highway 41 during a crane assembly project.

The most recent accusations stemmed from an incident last summer on the same highway. A truck driver died and a crane operator was injured when a crane overturned while erecting supports for a Lake Butte des Morts bridge.

The crane operator, a Lunda employee, was thrown from the machine and seriously hurt. During the rollover, a boom struck and killed the truck driver employed by an unrelated company.

Lunda and its subcontractor were issued 10 willful and serious citations after the fatal accident. Recommended penalties were more than $13,000 for Choice Construction and $105,000 for Lunda.

OSHA cited Lunda for one willful and five other serious violations. A willful violation accuses the company of knowingly disregarding laws or workers safety. The serious citations centered on failed crane operation and employee training.

Federal regulators visited Lunda sites five times since 2009. The construction company was contesting citations it received for the De Pere-area fatality when the second crane accident occurred. Lunda was delegated to OSHA's "severe violator" list.

Workers' compensation benefits are available for on-the-job injuries and workplace-related deaths. Experienced attorneys help victims and their families understand the laws and benefits available to them.

Source: jsonline.com, "OSHA cites 2 companies in death, injury at crane collapse site," Georgia Pabst, Jan. 3, 2013

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