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Disaster caused by failure to maintain a safe working environment

As many California natives know, natural disasters can wreak havoc on a person's daily life. Earthquakes, tornadoes and massive storm systems have the potential to disrupt work flow and productivity. Sometimes, a heavy storm can even have serious health consequences and businesses may experience a failure to maintain a safe working environment for their employees.

After Hurricane Sandy devastated the East Coast, many businesses were left scrambling to pick up the pieces of their lives. At the New Jersey Lottery Commission's headquarters, several thousand lotto tickets were soaked and, subsequently, became moldy. Some employees are seeking compensation for what they claim is an unsafe working environment. They say that they moldy tickets caused them to be sick, and they are seeking restitution. Their symptoms included headaches and breathing problems.

The New Jersey Department of Treasury claims that they have given the employees safety gear and plan to get rid of the offending tickets. A company must take the necessary steps to provide their employees with a safe working environment. Also, if complaints are filed by the workers, it is paramount that the employer addresses those problems as soon as possible.

Here in California, earthquakes are the most likely natural disasters to impact businesses. However, water damage is not a foreign concept, as water mains and other fixtures can rupture and flood a building. In the end, each business must prepare for such natural disasters and have a plan for such events in order to prevent charges of a failure to maintain a safe working environment for their employees. When employees are injured or killed in a work accident, state regulated workers' compensation insurance benefits typically apply.

Source: businessinsurance.com, "Sandy leaves moldy mess for lottery workers," July 8, 2013

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