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Did University Violate OSHA Regulations?

State investigators are trying to determine whether the University of Notre Dame violated rules set out by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration regarding the duty of employers to provide a "safe workplace and safe working conditions." They are also looking to see whether the university violated a federal rule usually reserved for construction accidents involving falls from scaffolding.

The investigation started last week following the tragic death of a college junior on the Notre Dame campus. The young man had been videotaping Notre Dame football practice in what is known as a scissor lift, despite severe weather and the fact that wind gusts of up to 50 mph had been reported. When the lift finally toppled, he fell with it.

Now, investigators and Notre Dame officials are frantically paging through the university's safety regulations to determine whether or not the student should have even gotten into the lift in the first place. So far, the answers are inconclusive, perhaps indicative of the need for further definition on the part of colleges across the country - most of which employ similar methods to record team scrimmages.

The investigation into the fatal accident is ongoing, so not much has been released regarding specific findings. For the time being, friends and family are being asked for their patience. However, that may be hard to justify - especially in the face of a death that could have been prevented with just a bit of foresight on the part of the university.

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