Many Pittsburgh residents may know that workers in the United States enjoy a good deal of rights. However, that does not mean that the workplace is completely free of danger. Companies that cut corners or act carelessly toward their employees can cause a work related death or injury.
Fortunately for workers in America, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration strives to protect workers from dangerous or even deadly work conditions. Recently a natural gas producer and operator was cited for eight safety and health violations. The citations were specifically for its gas well site in Ringgold, Pennsylvania and followed an investigation prompted by a worker death. The list of transgressions include the failure to provide and require flame-resistant clothing, failure to provide protection from falls from stairs on tanks and failure to properly label tanks among other problems.
Sadly, in this case these violations were found only after a worker died in an accident in August 2012. The man was involved in a flash fire and was not provided flame-resistant clothing; he died from injuries sustained in the fire. When a worker like the one in this case is injured or killed on the job, a wrongful death lawsuit filed against a company may compensation if the incident was caused by the company’s negligence – for example, failing to properly maintain equipment or follow safety guidelines
Experienced legal professionals can provide assistance in navigating the often complicated world of the law related to workplace injuries or a work related death. A court may determine the decedent’s family members are entitled to loss of support, medical costs and other losses.
The company faces penalties of over $22,000 for the violations discovered in the OSHA investigation. However, the OSHA investigation is independent of any litigation that may be brought by the family of the deceased worker.
Source: OSHA.gov, “US Labor Department’s OSHA cites J.R. Resources in Ringgold, Pa., following worker fatality in August 2012,” March 5, 2013