Even when a worker is part of a high-risk industry, he or she probably expects to be reasonably safe while on the job. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen, and workers may be injured or even die as a result of a workplace accident. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration exists to help keep workers safe and evaluate accidents when they happen, to determine whether the employer could or should have prevented the incident. OSHA recently cited a telecommunications installation contractor here in Georgia in the death of a worker and other companies and employees may be able to learn from this tragedy.
Officials say that the accident happened when a worker was assisting with an excavation at a worksite. A trench allegedly collapsed while the employee was working with fiber optics and he died as a result. OSHA investigated and recently released its findings, saying that the contractor did not take appropriate measures to prevent the incident. The contractor should have ensured that employees were properly trained, that the trenches received proper inspections and more.
As a result, OSHA issued more than $58,000 worth of penalties to the company. An OSHA representative stated that collapses due to excavation are one of the most dangerous hazards in the industry. They have encouraged the company, and others like it, to reach out to learn the proper safety requirements for this type of work. The company is required to reply to the penalties, either by complying or officially contesting OSHA’s ruling. It could also have an informal conference with OSHA representatives.
A workplace accident like this one is part of the reason that worker’s compensation exists here in Georgia. These benefits can help employees and their families manage expenses after a worker gets hurt or dies while on the job. Those who have questions about how to manage these benefits may want to consult an attorney with extensive experience in handling these and other employment issues.