Workplace accidents are always heartbreaking, but some are exceptionally so. Recently, a worker who was involved in a workplace accident that claimed the lives of his own son and another worker is facing criminal charges in the matter. The incident occurred in 2014, when the man was operating a crane lifting a basket. The basket came loose and the two workers riding in it plunged over eight stories to their deaths.
While the loss of the man’s son and the second death are surely an enormous burden, the man is now facing involuntary manslaughter charges. Following the accident, the Cal-OSHA and several third-party investigators found that the crane used to lift the men in the basket suffered from many serious defects that contributed to the accident. Because the crane operator was also one of three supervisors on the worksite, he was found liable on multiple fronts.
After finding the series of deficiencies on the worksite, Cal-OSHA levied more than $100,000 of fines against the contraction company. Among some of the more troubling deficiencies were the facts that the crane the operator was lifting the other men on was not certified for lifting, was nearly 40 years old, and did not have a functioning safety latch for the basket.
Workplace accidents are all the more tragic when they could have been avoided by adherence to safety guidelines. If you have been the victim of a workplace accident, it is wise to seek the guidance of an experienced attorney who can help you understand the full scope of your situation ensure that your rights remain protected as your pursue justice.
Source: Sacramento Bee, “Crane operator charged in deaths of son, second worker at construction site,” Darrell Smith, Jan. 01, 2017