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Construction accident can result in OSHA violation fines

When a construction accident in California results in an injury, work safety authorities usually investigate the incident in order to determine the cause of the accident. If the investigators from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) conclude that safety violations contributed to an accident, the administration's findings could become a serious problem for the employer. An OSHA violation can result in significant monetary fines.

OSHA investigators are now looking into a recent accident to see if there were any violations of safety rules. The incident, which occurred at approximately 3 p.m. in late January, resulted in the death of a 45-year-old construction worker. The accident happened when the worker was about 60 feet above the ground. The man was working inside a crane at a high-rise construction project.

For some reason the man was leaning into a shaft as an elevator was descending. The cage elevator ended up pinning the man, which resulted in critical injuries to his upper body. The injured worker was put onto a stretcher and then strapped to a basket, which enabled crews to lower the stretcher down to street level. The man was in critical condition when he was taken to the hospital, and the hospital's staff was unable to save him.

When an employer is fined for an OSHA violation, the employer may have the option of challenging the allegations by taking appropriate legal action. For many cases in California, this option includes litigation. Therefore, it is wise for employers to be familiar with the state and federal work safety regulations that are being questioned by OSHA.

Source: Chicago Tribune, "OSHA to investigate after worker, 45, dies in construction accident", Tom Palmer and Rosemary Regina Sobol, Jan. 30, 2015

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