Workplace hazards are not restricted to particular industries, and California employers in all industries must follow prescribed safety regulations to prevent workplace accidents. Workers in industrial workplaces are typically exposed to equipment that can pose life-threatening hazards if not properly maintained. Employees must be informed of potential hazards and receive training in the proper operation of equipment to ensure protection from workplace injuries.
However, equipment malfunctions are sometimes to blame for injuries and even deaths of industrial workers. The California Division of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration will investigate a workplace accident that recently claimed the life of an employee of a tire company. The Los Angeles County Fire Department says the initial report indicated that an individual at the tire company’s address was in cardiac arrest.
When firefighters arrived at the scene, they found a worker who was trapped under a forklift. The incident report states that the worker was underneath the forklift, busy replacing the heavy machine’s tires. For unknown reasons, one of the tire jacks that held the forklift off the ground collapsed, resulting in the forklift falling on the worker. It was reported that the employee died at the scene. OSHA investigators will determine whether this worker’s death was caused by safety violations or malfunctioning equipment.
The families of California workers who have died as the result of fatal workplace injuries may pursue financial relief through the death benefits that are offered by the workers’ compensation program. If, however, it is suspected that an equipment malfunction was responsible for a loved one’s death, there might be a viable third-party claim against the manufacturer and/or supplier of the defective piece of equipment. Navigating such a lawsuit may be complicated, and the guidance and support of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney may result in fair compensation for financial and emotional losses.
Source: mynewsla.com, “Jack stand collapses under fork lift, kills La Mirada tire worker“, Hillary Jackson, Nov. 24, 2015