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Workers' compensation benefits may apply in Maryland deaths

When most people hear of a military member's death, they assume it was caused by enemies while in combat. However, there are many occupational hazards for military men and women that do not relate to combat. A recent investigation by OSHA at an Army-owned weapons-testing pond in Maryland where three people were killed has found several safety violations. The families of these three men are likely eligible for workers' compensation benefits after their tragic deaths.

The first incident occurred in January 2013. An OSHA investigation was initiated after a civilian diver was killed in the training pond during routine maintenance. The investigation alleges several serious violations, meaning employers knew that the lack of certain procedures could lead to death or injury, as well as several other violations.

The second incident occurred approximately a month after the first. Two navy divers were killed in a separate incident. The OSHA findings relate only to the first incident. Criminal charges may be pending as a result of the death of the two sailors.

The families of these three men are likely devastated as a result of the unexpected death of their loved ones. Unfortunately, their grief isn't the only hardship they will face in the coming years. The families are likely also wondering about their financial future as they face funeral expenses and the loss of the men's income. Most states, such as Maryland, require employers to provide their employees to workers' compensation coverage that will help their surviving dependents deal with the financial implications of a work-related death. Many people in similar situations choose to undertake measures to help them through the compensation process to ensure their needs are taken care of adequately, fairly, and efficiently.

Source: The Virginian-Pilot, "OSHA finds violations at pond where Navy divers died," Aug. 1, 2013

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