Worker dies after falling 140 feet in N.C. park

workplace accident in Raleigh, North Carolina, resulted in the death of a 63-year-old maintenance worker earlier this month. The Army medic had been trimming grass at for the National Park Service for the last three summers.

On May 7, he was mowing the Blue Ridge Parkway when he tragically lost control of the riding mower on a 12 to 15 foot stretch between a cliff and guardrail and fell more than 140 feet down an embankment.

The National Park Service is now reexamining its safety procedures as a result of the workplace accident. It suspended mowing operations in all 397 parks across the country during the investigation. According to a park spokesman, the service is making efforts to ensure this type of an accident does not take place again.

According to the chief ranger of the park, the National Park Service constructed a five-member accident investigation team to review the accident. He said that it may be months before the findings are released to the public.

The Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration is also investigating the incident.

Mowing was to resume after each park goes through a safety review checklist. Depending on the park size, employees and equipment, the process of self-certification through training and briefings was to take hours in some parks and longer in larger-sized ones.

Losing a loved one in a work-related accident can cause both emotional and financial strains on the victim’s family members. It is often possible to recover compensation for funeral expenses and a lost source of income through a workers’ compensation claim. Of course, it goes without saying that financial compensation cannot lessen the emotional anguish associated with a fatal workplace accident. Compensation can simply take care of the financial effects of the family’s loss, freeing up energy and resources to begin the grieving process.

Source: Fox News, “Mowing halted at national parks after fatal fall,” May 15, 2012

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