Employers are required to do everything reasonably in their power to ensure the safety of their employees. A disregard for the safety of employees may lead to on\-the\-job injuries, which may then result in workers' compensation claims. When California employers and/or managers disregard safety regulations, the risk of an accident leading to fatal injuries increases.
A California business owner and his manager were recently charged with involuntary manslaughter after an employee was crushed to death by an overturned forklift. It appears that the worker tried to jump from the overturning forklift, but instead landed under it. During an investigation by the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health into the matter, it was also found that the man did not have the required certification to operate a forklift. Furthermore, investigators found a violation of workplace safety regulations as the ramp should have had a curb to stop the forklift from rolling over.
The company involved received a fine in excess of $62,000 because of six safety violations all related to the forklift accident. According to a spokesperson for Cal/DOSH, the tragedy could have been prevented if greater care was taken to ensure workers' safety regulations were adhered to. Perhaps the death could have been avoided f only the employer and/or manager evaluated the workplace and identified possible risks.
Apart from other possible civil claims, the family of the deceased employee is entitled to pursue claims for survivor's benefits under the California workers' compensation system. Workers who are injured on the job are entitled to file claims for benefits. The surviving families of those killed in a workplace accident are entitled to file claims for death benefits under the same state-regulated insurance system. A workers' compensation attorney can help at every stage of the claims process and also assess whether third party claims for damages in civil court may be appropriate.
Source: NBC Bay Area, "2 Charged in Death of SF Worker Crushed by Forklift", May 8, 2018