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Sources say worker was drinking before fatal accident

Last week, a female dockworker was killed when struck by a vehicle. According to three sources familiar with the incident, the driver of the vehicle had been drinking before causing the accident.

The 49-year-old woman died after being hit by a top loader at the APM Port Elizabeth terminal.

The sources noted that the driver of the vehicle was a 48-year-old man. While charges have yet to be filed, a spokesperson for the Port Authority police has noted that the investigation is ongoing.

The company's general manager said, "The accident is under investigation. We take safety very seriously — and are cooperating with authorities in the investigation."

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the accident in an attempt to determine if there were any workplace safety violations. They are expected to release a report on their findings within six months.

Despite the seriousness of this situation, it is not the first time a person has been killed on the docks. In 2012, a 47-year-old woman was killed after being crushed between two shipping containers.

The details of this type of accident are never easy to understand. There is a lot that goes into determining what went wrong, which is why an investigation can take so long. From questions about worker safety to those surrounding the state of the driver, it can take time for everything to be worked out.

Workers in all industries should be aware of what can go wrong on the job. It only takes a mistake by one person to kill or injure another.

Source: NJ.com, "Dockworker had been drinking prior to fatal port accident, sources say," Steve Strunsky, NJ Advance Media, Aug. 12, 2015

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