Energy Company May Need Employer Defense Following Fatal Accident

August 08, 2015
Sacks & Zolonz, LLP
Work Injury

The energy industry is essential since it helps to make sure most things in society operate and run in some fashion or another. This requires hard labor to turn the earth’s natural resources into usable energy sources in California. However, this also means industrial crews are required to work with heavy machinery, which can be dangerous. On the other hand, a workplace injury can also be detrimental to the employer and can result in the need for employer defense.

This may be the situation that one employer is now facing after a recent fatal industrial accident. The work crew was working on a 36-inch natural gas pipeline designed to garner natural gas out of shale in the ground in order to distribute to various markets throughout the country. The victim’s employer was Energy Transfer Partners, which had merged recently with Regency Energy. The company has since released a statement expressing sadness and condolences to the man’s family and friends.

The victim had been operating a bulldozer at the time of the incident, which happened at 11:48 a.m. in early August. The 54-year-old man had been driving the bulldozer on a steep grade when it began to roll down the hill. The bulldozer ended up turning over numerous times before finally coming to a rest. The machine ended up in an upright position, according to the latest reports released to the public by authorities.

Undoubtedly, workplace safety authorities will now be looking to investigate the incident to determine what may have caused the fatal accident. They will be looking, just like in any fatal workplace accident in California, to see if any violations of work safety rules and regulations had been present. If citations are issued against the employer, the company may be in need of implementing an employer defense strategy.

Source:, “Pipeline worker killed in construction accident“, Dave Bohrer, August 4, 2015

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