Any time that a fatal work accident occurs, there is typically an investigation into what went wrong. These investigations have the purpose of both pinpointing any culpability and also helping companies strive to prevent any such accidents from happening again. After one recent investigation in California, the company is facing citations related to an incident where one worker was fatally injured on the job.
The incident involved a worker who was in a trench. The worker and another pipe layer were checking on the status of the depth of the trench when one of the walls caved in on them. One of the workers was killed when the trench collapsed. An investigation by Cal/OSHA has ended in citations against the company citing various issues and fines totaling more than $100,000.
The company was found negligent for not properly inspecting the trench even though there was an earlier cave-in at the site at one point in time. The company was also cited for not properly training employees about heat illnesses and prevention. There was also a violation pertaining to injury prevention.
When a California company is cited for violations, that company typically makes great strides to correct any problems and keep their workers safe from being injured on the job or having any unforeseen accidents occur. Even in cases where companies are compliant with safety requirements and workers still suffer from injuries, injured workers are typically entitled to workers' compensation benefits that can also extend to surviving families in the event of death. These benefits will ensure medical care is paid for and that workers or their family members do not suffer financial hardship due to lost wages.
Source: safety.blr.com, Cal/OSHA issues citations after trench collapse: What the employer should have done differently, No author, Oct. 16, 2013