It is important for an employer to do what is possible to prevent workplace accidents. Not only can this help to avoid unnecessary suffering for employees in California, it can also help to prevent an injured worker claim, which could be financially damaging to an employer in any industry. Additionally, avoiding possible citations from work safety authorities can eliminate the need for an employer defense.
One company is now facing this situation after being hit with over $1.4 million of fines for various work safety violations. This included several violations that resulted in the amputation of the leg of a teenage worker. The 17-year-old worker was employed by a cleaning subcontractor, which was employed by a food company. The teenage worker had his left leg amputated at the knee.
Regulators fined the company for two willful violations of safety violations. It was also cited for 10 repeated safety violations and four serious violations. Regulators issued the citations in September and are now proposing penalties of more than $424,000; the subcontracting company was also fined for more than $179,000. The subcontracting company was reportedly cited for failing to report the amputation incident to safety authorities.
On the other hand, the two companies being cited for violations also have legal choices available to them. Just like in any similar situation in California, there are options available to launch a employer defense. This can mean challenging the citations through the proper legal channels. There may also be various ways to minimize the liability of an injured worker claim.
Source: insurancejournal.com, “Workplace Injuries Lead to $1.4M in Fines for Ohio Chicken Processor“, Oct. 7, 2015