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Employer faces OSHA investigation after worker is impaled

Safety in the workplace is always of utmost importance. Strict adherence to safety regulations helps to ensure that workers are safe from the serious injuries that could result from unexpected accidents at workplaces in California. On the other hand, ensuring worker safety can also help an employer avoid having to deal with an OSHA investigation.

This is the situation that one employer is now facing after a recent workplace accident that left one worker seriously injured. The employee was working at a Zero Waste facility in another state when he somehow fell approximately 15 feet. Apparently, a 4-foot-long piece of steel rebar impaled the man, causing serious internal injuries. The rebar reportedly entered one side of his chest and then came out the other side. The man was immediately taken to the hospital in serious condition.

Now, investigators from OSHA are looking into the tragic incident in order to determine if any safety regulations were violated that could have contributed to causing the accident. The agency could issue citations, as well as propose fines against the employer, if safety violations are discovered by OSHA's investigators. Penalties can have significantly negative effects on a business's finances.

Fortunately, this company, like California companies, will also have the option of challenging any findings of violations resulting from the OSHA investigation. However, this will require taking legal action through the proper channels. Having an understanding of the relevant safety rules and other applicable laws will be important in making a strong case in defense of an employer.

Source: southcoasttoday.com, "OSHA investigating Rochester construction accident", Curt Brown, March 11, 2015

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