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California employers can be held liable for fatal work accident

It's mortifying when someone is killed in a workplace accident. Falls are considered to be a primary cause of death for construction workers throughout the country. California employers can be held liable for a fatal work accident. Recently, an employee was killed from a job injury he sustained after falling 19 feet off a scaffolding.

The employee was working on a renovation project on a building. He was covering the building with stucco when he apparently fell off of the scaffolding and later died. An investigation was launched by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and cited the company for five safety violations. One of the citations claims the employer willfully failed to provide protection from fall hazards for employees who work over 10 feet. A director with OSHA stated that the company intentionally refused to provide an adequate scaffold to safeguard its employees.

Following the finding of willful violation, OSHA placed the employer on a Severe Violator Enforcement Program. Under this program, employers that have repeatedly and willfully committed violations are under the radar for inspections. Furthermore, the employer was also fined $57,000 and must comply with 15 business days.

Life can often be burdensome for employees who suffer serious injuries in a work accident. Matters can be even more burdensome when family members are informed that their loved one died while on the job. As with this case, if safety violations are discovered by OSHA, the employers can be subject to citations and heavy fines. Family members of deceased workers may have the right to pursue civil litigation under California workers' compensation laws.

Source: workerscompensation.com, GA Worker Died After Fall Off Scaffold, 1, March. 19, 2014

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