This holiday, a Pennsylvania family and community will mourn the loss of a loved one. Last week, a 31-year-old man was working in a water tower when terror ensued. Somehow, the worker fell a significant distance and sustained fatal injuries in the workplace accident.

According to reports, the rescue attempt at the Lower Providence Township scene was quite a dramatic one. Not only had the one worker fallen, but a second worker also fell and hanged from his harness until responders were able to rescue him. He survived the incident.

Officials have ruled the fatality an accident and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is doing its part to investigate the accident and determine any next steps. The company that the victim worked for has reportedly been investigated and fined by OSHA in the past. It’s crucial that authorities determine whether some sort of safety violation caused the death of the victim so that, if that were the case, they could hold the reckless party responsible and enforce regulations that would protect workers from a similar fate.

One reported possibility behind the fatal work fall is that the harness meant to protect the worker didn’t work properly. Safety equipment must be in working condition for workers. Otherwise, it is useless and puts them at risk of injury and death. When someone is working on something like a water tower and he is elevated like the victim was, a functioning harness isn’t just a luxury; it’s a must and the difference between life and death.

Families who are left behind as the result of a loved one’s work accident may have rights to workers’ compensation benefits. Our Pennsylvania law firm helps families like that. Visit our fatal workplace accident page to learn more about this legal matter.

Source: The Philadelphia Inquirer, “Worker who fell to his death remembered as kind soul,” Aubrey Whelen, Dec. 6, 2012