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Workers' compensation defense and hired contractors

Workers' compensation defense may help to keep an employer from being taken advantage of and ensure that both the injured party and the company are protected. A California company that hires contractors to complete construction on its property may question its rights for workers' compensation defense in the event that a worker is hurt. A fire began recently at what used to be a California hotel while construction crews performed renovations on the premises.

The afternoon fire quickly reached three-alarm status and took over three hours for firefighters to put out. A total of eight contract workers suffered injury during the fire, though only seven of them were treated at a nearby medical facility for inhaling smoke. Health care providers believed the injuries to be minor.

The organization responsible for the renovation reportedly hired two contracted companies to complete the hotel renovation project, which will eventually be reopened as a newer hotel. Records indicate that two construction companies present are being looked at for the accident and not the owner of the building. One of the contractors was previously fined $935 for improper breathing protection and for material handling. It wasn't clear what steps that company may have taken to address the previous citation.

An OSHA official believes that the accident took place when steel workers were placing studs into preexisting frames and welding. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is continuing the investigation to better determine what may have taken place to cause the fire. In the event that a victim seeks benefits from his or her employer, a workers' compensation defense may help to safeguard A California company's assets.

Source: sfappeal.com, "OSHA Looking Into Three Alarm Fire at Former Renoir Hotel", Sasha Lekach, Aug. 6, 2014

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