There are multiple safety checks required when working with large construction equipment. Unfortunately, safety devices and protocols only promote the safety of workers when used and enforced by employers. A failure of effective training of employees on how to maintain safety can result in serious construction workers’ accidents. One employer has recently been cited over $200,000 in fines in relation to a fatal accident in California earlier this year.
The California Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently reported the findings of its investigation into a fatal accident. Earlier this year, a worker suffered serious injuries while operating a forklift. While driving it to a transit shed, he collided with a concrete pillar and was thrown from the machine. He became trapped between the pillar and the forklift and later died from his injuries.
Cal-OSHA’s investigation revealed that multiple safety devices and protocols were disabled at the time of the accident. Although the company had been cited in 2016 for failure to perform safety inspections of forklifts at the beginning of a worker’s shifts, the company appears to have failed to institute or educate employees to perform them. Had a safety check been performed at the beginning of the worker’s shift, it might have revealed that the forklift lacked a seatbelt and warning signals that a seatbelt was not in place, and it also lacked a feature that would have disabled the lift once a driver was not detected in the seat. Because the company had been cited for similar violations before, they were fined $205,235 in violations that may have resulted in the employee’s death.
Suffering serious injuries on the job can be expensive financially for an employee and family of a deceased employee. Medical expenses for treatment of injuries can add up quickly as can burial expenses in cases of death. California attorneys familiar with employment law and construction workers’ accidents can advise an employee or family on the best process for securing compensation through workers’ compensation or any other legal means.