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Town employee killed while fixing broken water line

A Massachusetts' employee was killed while performing a "routine undertaking." A Natick Town Administrator described the workplace incident as a "freak accident." However, she declined to describe what occurred other than to say it involved equipment.

The accident occurred on Feb. 4 at approximately 7:15 p.m. after members of the Department of Public Works were called to repair a water line break. The Middlesex District Attorney's office released a statement concerning the matter saying "a backhoe was accidentally pulled forward, and the stabilizer of the backhoe struck two employees who were working in a trench."

By calling this a "routine undertaking," it appears that these workers often were asked to perform duties such as this. Yet because tasks like this are considered routine, safety procedures also need to be put in place by employers to make certain that workers are not injured.

These accidents cause harm to more than just the worker as others are often dependent upon them for emotional or financial support. After an accident such as this, family members are cut off from this support.

The 48-year-old man killed in the accident had worked for the DPW for 26 years. He was married and had a nine-year-old daughter. At the time of this occurrence he held the top union job as general foreman.

Under Massachusetts workers' compensation laws, a spouse or children of someone killed in a work-related accident may be able to receive death benefits concerning their loss. However, as the process can sometimes be complex, family members may wish to speak to an experienced workers' compensation attorney to find out what their legal options happen to be.

Source: Boston.com, "Long-time Natick DPW employee killed in 'freak accident'; co-worker injured," John R. Ellement, Feb. 5, 2014

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