For any industry, there are safeguards in place to protect workers. If a work injury occurs and an investigation reveals lapses or mistakes in those safeguards, a company may be fined or worse. Two companies in California are currently facing steep fines after an investigation into a fatal work injury.
The fatal injury took the life of a 59-year-old man. The worker was working on a railroad bridge that was over a freeway. The highway above had been closed that night as work was being conducted to remove a crossing for the intention of widening the road. The bridge collapsed onto the freeway below, causing the death of the worker.
The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health investigated the incident. The officials cited the two companies involved for safety violations that they contend were a factor in the deadly accident. One construction company was fined more than $54,000, and a subcontractor was fined over $50,000.
When a California company is found at fault and fined after a work injury, fatal or not, that company may have to impose changes to how business is conducted, including safety procedures. For a worker who is injured or worse, workers' compensation benefits can be a lifeline and help workers and families maintain a flow of income while recovery is endured or a family adjusts to life without that worker. Legal guidance may be needed if a worker believes that he or she is not getting the maximum benefits he or she is entitled to under California law, or if certain benefits are denied.
Source: utsandiego.com, "Worker death leads to fines for construction firms", Jan. 1, 2015