Jainchill & Beckert, LLC

Workplace safety failures lead to fatalities

Workers in Connecticut often rely on their employers to inform them of workplace hazards and risks. These employees may also follow the leads of their more experienced coworkers when it comes to workplace behavior, processes and procedures. Unfortunately, a wax approach to workplace safety can lead to fatalities.

One example of an avoidable workplace death occurred in a warehouse where employees routinely stood on pallets that were lifted by forklifts when restocking shelves. This is an unsafe procedure, and neither forklifts nor pallets are designed to be used in this way. In this instance, a worker fell from the pallet and eventually succumbed to his injuries while in the hospital.

Upon investigation by OSHA, it was revealed that not only was this a routine practice at this workplace, but the employer also did not provide appropriate safety training to employees. Had the employer done so, this might not have been a widespread practice throughout the warehouse.

Another factor in this case was that the company had not invested in equipment that would have permitted workers to safely access high shelves. For example, there are attachments for forklifts, as well as specialized trucks, that could have provided a safe mechanism for employees who need to reach high shelves.

When an employer fails to set and maintain appropriate safety standards, employees and their families can suffer. Individuals who have been injured on the job, and their families, may benefit from speaking with a personal injury attorney. The lawyer may be able to review the client's case and provide information about legal strategies, including applying for worker's compensation or possibly pursuing litigation against the employer.

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