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Employee killed in tragic fall at NASA's Kennedy Space Center

When it comes to maintaining a safe work environment, there is likely no organization more committed to protecting its employees from dangerous and potentially fatal work injuries than NASA. Given the importance of the its mandate and the level of funding involved, the agency simply cannot afford to compromise employee safety and incur associated expenses (legal fees, large fines, increased workers' compensation costs, etc.).

Unfortunately, all the precautions in the world are sometimes not enough to prevent workplace injuries from occurring.

Tragically, this was the case earlier this week when a technician working on the space shuttle Endeavour at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, was killed in a tragic accident.

According to preliminary reports, 53-year-old James V., a swing arm engineer for United Space Alliance (a NASA contractor), was killed in a fall from the elevated levels of Launch Pad 39A, the site where Endeavour is undergoing preparation for its final mission.

James V. had worked at the Kennedy Space Center for almost 30 years.

"Our focus right now is on providing support for the family and for his co-workers," said United Space Alliance's CEO Virginia Barnes. "We are also providing our full support to investigating officials in order to determine the cause of the incident as quickly as possible."

Following the accident, work on Endeavour - slated to launch April 19 - was suspended for the remainder of the day. NASA also offered on-site counseling to employees.

Interestingly, this is not the first fatal work accident to occur at Launch Pad 39A. Since 1968, there have been four fatalities at that particular location. In fact, one of these fatalities was also the direct result of a fall from heights.

Stay tuned for further developments in the area of workers' compensation defense ...

This post was provided for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice. Names have been withheld to protect the identity of the victims.

Related Resources:

Space shuttle worker dies in fall at launch pad (MSNBC)

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