All Kansas employees expect to be provided with reasonable, safe accommodations in the workplace. Individuals who operate heavy machinery, manufacturing equipment, or work around dangerous chemicals or moving parts expect heightened attention be paid to the safety of all employees. Unfortunately, workplace accidents are far too common in Kansas, and across the United States. Workplace injuries can range from a scrape to for more traumatic injuries such as: a crushing injury, head trauma to broken or severed limbs.
Kansas workplaces are required to maintain a safe working environment, and are often regulated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, also known as OSHA. OSHA provides safety guidelines for most workplaces, and conducts investigations when workplace accidents occur. OSHA may be called in to investigate a recent workplace accident in Wichita, Kansas that resulted in the death of a talented boxer.
Media reports indicate that 22-year-old Tony Losey, a nationally known top-ranked amateur boxer, was working outside of a large tank at a steel plate fabricator when the accident occurred. Witnesses report that Losey was operating a sandblaster under a large tarp when a tank he was cleaning, upwards of 18-feet tall, shifted and fell on him. The estimated 12,000-pound tank crushed Losey killing him on impact. Investigators believe that the tank shifted without warning and that Losey attempted to get out of harm’s way but the weight and force were too great.
Investigators stated that such accidents are rare but do occur, and that generally, no one is injured when tanks like this one collapse. Investigators are working to determine if proper safety measures were in place to prevent such an accident. One nearby witness indicated that the tank was sitting on two sawhorses when it fell. Preliminary reports do not indicate whether OSHA is planning to participate in the investigation, though such action is likely.
Tragic Example for Kansas Workers
Stories like this one offer a tragic example of the dangers that workplaces can pose to employees. The young, aspiring athlete was operating in the course of his duties as a subcontractor when his life was taken. This story also highlights a common issue in workplace accidents – the issue of whether workers’ compensation benefits are available to subcontractors if they sustain a job-related injury.
Kansas law is broad concerning who classifies as an employee for workers’ compensation purposes, with exceptions for agricultural jobs, independent contractors, certain firefighters, sole proprietors, and certain vehicle drivers. The victim in this workplace accident, unfortunately, did not survive his injuries. His family, like so many others, may be left without a source of income, and no doubt are suffering from their loss. Many other Kansas workers do survive their workplace injuries and are left fighting for clarity on their rights and responsibilities while potentially living with a serious injury. Workers’ compensation is a complex area of the law that requires the skill of trained legal representatives.
Get Help Fast
If you have been injured in a workplace accident, do not wait to get help. Act quickly to see what your rights and responsibilities are, as well as what options may be available to you. Contact the Kansas Workers’ Compensation Attorneys at Michael R. Lawless, P.A. to find out more about our state’s personal injury and workers’ compensation laws. We have been fighting for the rights of injured clients for nearly three decades, and will fight for you. To schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys, call us right away toll-free at (800) 734-3771. You may also leave us a message electronically and we will respond as soon as possible.