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Houston worker killed by industrial trash compact

A Houston worker was killed on the job last week after he was dragged into an industrial trash compactor. The tragic accident occurred on Thursday at an appliance parts distribution company. Authorities were called to the scene after it was reported that a worker had fallen into the mobile compacting machine that was located in the back of a box truck and used to crush packaging materials.

According to reports, the worker had been feeding dry plastic foam into the compactor, which melts and then bags the waste. When the worker reached into the machine with his right hand, police said the machine grabbed the worker and pulled him in. It took rescue workers about two hours to retrieve the 43-year-old man's body from the machine.

An autopsy has been ordered and it is likely that the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration will conduct an investigation.

This is an example of a workplace fatality that could potentially lead to a wrongful death lawsuit. Accidents like this shouldn't happen on the job, and negligent parties should be held liable for putting workers in harm's way.

In some cases, employers can be sued for failing to provide workers with a safe work environment. In other cases, a third-party could be liable for the accident either based on a negligence or a product liability theory. In product liability cases, a manufacturer can be sued if a product is determined to be unsafe or lacks the proper warnings.

Although a wrongful death lawsuit can never take away the pain of losing a loved one in a fatal workplace accident, it can help support the family financially and thwart similar accidents from happening again in the future.

Source: KWTX.com, "Texas Worker Dies In Trash Compactor," july 12, 2013

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