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Winery fined in worker's death

A tragic death can occur in even the most beautiful places. Recently, a worker was killed while unloading metal barrels in Napa valley, leading to significant fines for the estate. According to the investigation, the accident was caused by several safety violations present on the grounds.

The accident occurred while several workers were unloading large metal barrels from a shipping container, using a dangerous method. The winery did not feature a proper loading dock at the time of the accident, and the workers chose to work around the safety violation by using a forklift to unload stacks of metal barrels.

Furthermore, the forklift was using an unsafe combination of straps to pull stacks out of the shipping container so they could be reached. This dangerous plan went tragically awry when some barrels came loose and fell on a 45-year-old worker, crushing him to death. Another worker jumped over to help the man, but he was already fatally injured. The winery now faces fines of nearly $50,000 from California Occupational Safety and Health Administration after the agency identified a number of serious safety violations that lead to the man's death.

In many industries, safety precautions are skirted because they are inconvenient, or seem too expensive to institute. Of course, this type of rule bending usually ends up hurting those who are most vulnerable and do the hardest ground-level work. If you have been injured in a workplace accident that featured a safety violation, do not hesitate to enlist the guidance of an experienced attorney who can help you pursue fair compensation and justice for your losses.

Source: Napa Valley Register, "Trinchero Family Estates fined $44,575 by Cal/OSHA in worker's death," Jennifer Huffman, March 31, 2017

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Making a false or fraudulent workers’ compensation claim is a felony subject to 5 years in prison or up to $50,000 or double the value of the fraud, whichever is greater, or by both imprisonment and fine.

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