Jason Webb died from injuries stemming from an industrial accident on December 18, 2010. According to the Salt Lake Tribune, Webb was transferring fuel from one fuel tanker truck to another at Ron Osborne Trucking when it happened. Apparently, Webb came in close contact with a power take off (PTO), which is a shaft that is connected directly to the tractor’s engine. The shaft can then be connected to an implement, such as a pump. Bluffdale Fire Captain said that when he got there, the PTO was spinning and all the guards that are supposed to surround the unit and keep operators from harm had been taken off. According to the story, the spinning PTO caught the man’s clothes, ripped his arm off and caused him to have massive head trauma. He was taken to University Hospital, but died 12 hours later.
I offer my deepest condolences to Jason Webb’s family.
The story is not clear as to why guards and/or shields were taken off the PTO. Was this something that Webb did himself or a mechanic or someone else at the company. If the guards were defective, then there may be cause to make a claim against the manufacturer of the PTO device and/or guards.
Generally speaking, though, since this fatality happened on the job, then it is governed exclusively by workers compensation insurance (unless you could demonstrate a claim against a “third party” such as the equipment manufacturer). I would advise the family to contact a competent workers compensation lawyer to make sure they get the death benefit they are entitled to.
Note: While the Kramer Law Group handles accident and injury cases, we do not practice in the field of workers compensation law.