Company fined after fatal workplace accident

Most workers in California and across the country are vested in ensuring that they are safe in addition to working to protect the safety of their co-workers. Despite their desires, they often are hampered in these endeavors by faulty equipment or a lack of appropriate safety gear. In fact, a business in another state was recently fined following a fatal workplace accident.

The victim of the accident was a 42-year-old man. Reports indicate that the man was driving a forklift when he reportedly lost control of it. The man was reportedly thrown from the piece of machinery after it went down a slope. It is believed that he was partially ejected and pinned by the vehicle.

An investigation by the state division of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration reportedly revealed that the man was not wearing a safety belt at the time of the accident. However, reports indicate that the seat belt was in a state of disrepair despite indications that the forklift was regularly inspected and had recently undergone repairs. The repair record of the forklift allegedly revealed that there was a need for the seat belt. 

An almost $20,000 fine was recently announced against the company, both as a result of the faulty belt and for inadequately training employees to use the forklift. While it may bring the deceased man's family some comfort knowing that measures are being taken to prevent similar incidents in the future, it will likely do little to help them cope with the financial consequences associated with the unexpected loss of their family member in a workplace accident. Because of this hardship, employers in California and across the country are required to provide workers' compensation insurance coverage for their employees, which can help with medical costs and lost wages. In the event of a fatality, such as this, these benefits can also extend to certain family members and cover funeral expenses.

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