When workplace accidents happen, several agencies are brought in to investigate how and why the accidents occurred. If the companies are found to be at fault for the accidents, they can face penalties such as fines. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, commonly known as OSHA is a federal agency that investigates these types of accidents. Our Houston readers might be interested to know that the regulatory agency recently fined several companies as a result of an investigation into an accident that killed one man, and injured several others.
The accident occurred in March of this year at a facility in Russellville, Arkansas. A crane that was lifting a piece of equipment weighing 525 tons collapsed. A 24-year-old man was killed and eight others were injured. During the investigation, OSHA determined that the accident could have been prevented had the companies involved planned properly and taken the required safeguards while the process was taking place. The total amount of fines levied on four different companies was $175,000 for 26 alleged violations. The companies have the right to contest OSHA’s findings.
The mother of the man who was killed has filed a wrongful death suit. The defendants were not listed, nor was an amount requested by the woman. Although a company does not have to be fined by a regulatory agency or found to be criminally negligent for someone to file a successful civil suit, OSHA’s findings of negligence on the part of the companies could strengthen the woman’s case.
Companies have an obligation to provide as safe a workplace atmosphere as possible. When they fail to do so, those injured have a legal right to seek compensation for the company’s negligence. An experienced legal professional well-versed in workplace accident cases can help anyone affected by such acts to determine if going through the legal process for compensation is the best course of action.
Source: Miami Herald, “OSHA levies $175K in fines in fatal crane accident” No author given, Sep. 27, 2013