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Employer defense required after OSHA citations

The unexpected death of a worker is understandably devastating for the worker's family and his or her community in California. One community in another state was recently faced with this situation following a workplace accident that occurred about a year ago. Dozens recently gathered to remember the victim who lost his life while on the job. However, the tragedy of the fatal workplace accident also affects the employer who may now require an employer defense.

The accident had spurred an investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. After three inspections, OSHA issued fines against the company for five alleged work safety violations. The fines levied by OSHA against the company totaled more than $500,000. Approximately $220,000 of those fines were related to this specific fatal workplace accident. There were five violations which OSHA claims were related to the specific deadly workplace incident.

Apparently, the fatal accident involved the victim being crushed inside of a press. The widow of the victim asserts that the accident could have been prevented by the employer, which is a plastics company. She says that the employer should have utilized lockout-tagout procedures. However, the other side of the story has yet to be heard by the public. The company has yet to release any public statement regarding the fatal accident.

The company will now be looking into creating an employer defense strategy in order to combat the legal problems which may have manifested as a result of the fatal accident. This will be particularly important if the company is accused of willful and serious misconduct. There may be various legal defense options available for those in similar situations in California.

Source: wwmt.com, "Family, friends remember man who died in workplace accident one year ago", June 28, 2015

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