There are many legal safeguards for workers and protections to help employers ensure the safety and security of their workers, such as workers' compensation benefits for workers that become injured or die on the job. While most businesses in California stick to strict safety standards and make certain that workers' compensation benefits are intact, there may be times when a business owner has acted negligently by not properly training his employees and a work injury results in death. For one California business owner, the criminal courts found him guilty for his role in the death of a worker.
The owner at the heart of this particular case ran a print shop. A 26-year-old pregnant worker was loading a machine that cuts and creases boxes. At some point, the woman leaned too close and the machine closed around her and crushed her. She died from the incident.
The print shop owner was arrested after a lengthy investigation. It was determined that the workers he employed were not properly trained in how to safely use the equipment. He has been sentenced to jail time for involuntary manslaughter.
Anytime there is heavy equipment or machinery involved, workers must be trained and protected through the implementation of safety standards. While it is rare for an employer to be found criminally culpable for a work injury that leads to a worker's death, this case highlights how quickly a job accident can turn deadly under any circumstances. Any time a worker dies on the job in California, either by accident or through negligence, that worker's family is typically entitled to death benefits to cover funeral expenses and also provide a lost income package for any dependents.
Source: indiawest.com, "SF print shop owner convicted in worker's death," April 22, 2013