A worker at a Houston food company has been killed in an accident involving an industrial mixer. His body was discovered by another worker on Sunday afternoon.
The worker's body was found in an industrial dough mixer at the facility, which investigators say the victim had been operating. An autopsy revealed that the worker died from multiple blunt force injuries, which would be consistent with injuries sustained in such an accident. Foul play is not suspected, according to Houston police.
Any workplace can present serious dangers for workers, though the risk of injury is higher in industrial settings and in such fields as manufacturing, construction and transportation. Heavy machinery can present unique risks to employees who must work with and around this massive equipment on a regular basis. It may malfunction if improperly designed, manufactured or maintained. Inadequate safety equipment or improper training can also lead to serious accidents. In some cases, however, even skilled workers can be injured by functioning machines. All it takes is a momentary slip or distraction.
Even when appropriate safety measures are taken and employees are properly trained and supervised, accidents can happen. The circumstances that led to this worker's death have yet to be uncovered, though an initial review of the evidence at hand seems to point to a simple and tragic accident.
Fatal Workplace Accidents & Workers' Compensation
When workers lose their lives in workplace accidents, their families may be able to pursue benefits provided by the Texas workers' compensation system. A deceased worker's spouse, minor child or children, dependent grandchild or grandchildren, or other dependents may be entitled to death benefits after a fatal work accident or on-the-job injury. Non-dependent parents may also be entitled to benefits, if no other eligible dependents exist.
Benefits equivalent to 75% of the worker's average weekly wage may be paid to his or her dependents after a fatal accident, with maximum and minimum amounts restricting what may be paid. The length of time a dependent receives benefits may vary. A surviving spouse may receive death benefits for the remainder of his or her life, unless he or she remarries, at which point the spouse may be entitled to a lump sum payment equal to two years of benefits. Dependent children may receive benefits until they are 18, or until they are 25 if they are full-time students. If the worker left a spouse and dependent children behind, benefits would be divided, with 50% going to the spouse and the remaining benefits divided equally among the children.
Are you interested in finding out what steps may be taken if you have lost a loved one in a workplace accident? A Houston workers' compensation attorney at The Daspit Law Firm can offer insight. We help injured workers and the families of deceased workers seek fair benefits in a timely manner, navigating the often complex workers' comp system and pursuing other sources of compensation whenever possible. Call today for a free consultation.