Several California employers have been fined by Cal-OSHA over various violations that led to worker injuries. These violations have been the direct cause of accidents that resulted in workplace injuries. Most of the fines were levied because Cal-OSHA considered these violations to be willful, blatantly ignoring known safety hazards.
In one accident, a worker fell approximately seven feet, breaking eight ribs. He fell after the plywood over a vault hole collapsed, sending him down into a dangerous vault. Cal-OSHA maintains that the employer knew that the boards needed to be replaced, yet failed to do so. Many employers across the state are facing the highest fines possible because of blatant hazards, many of them so severe that they placed workers at risk of death.
According to Cal-OSHA figures, more than 80 California employers were given the highest possible fines over the last year for willful violations. Many of these violations were discovered upon investigations, which were launched because of filed complaints or a previous workplace accident. While it is disheartening to know that these numbers are so high, workers still have the right to a safe, productive work environment and a full recovery in case of a work accident.
If a person suffers workplace injuries, it is important to take steps to protect his or her rights. Despite the actions or lack of concern on the part of the employer, every person also has the right to medical treatment and an understanding of the workers’ compensation process. Workers often have to act as their own advocate, but an experienced lawyer can take that burden, navigating the potentially complex process and allowing the worker to focus on a full recovery.
Source: inewsource.org, “Nine local employers hit with Cal-OSHA???s highest fines in 2015“, Chris Young, March 21, 2016