When a North Carolina employee dies on the job, many questions are left unanswered for some time. Family members may begin to wonder who the fault lies with, in addition to questioning whether the right steps were taken to keep their loved one safe at work. When there is such a death or serious workplace injury with questions unanswered, an investigation usually begins. Depending on the findings in the investigation, the company where the workplace injury or death occurred may face hefty fines and penalties.
This has just been the case for a company in another state, who has been fined a rather large amount of money for violating guidelines. The company allegedly did not secure heavy material before attempting to store it. A 50-year-old employee died back in August as the result.
The man’s job at the time of this fatal workplace injury was to operate a forklift. The unsecured material, which is now known to have been heavy copper wire, fell on the man. He, unfortunately, suffered catastrophic injuries and died on the scene. The wiring was stacked in bales of five, with each bale weighing up to 5,000 pounds.
The fatal workplace injury sparked an investigation from the Department of Labor. The discoveries were that the company should have properly stored the heavy material in a way that would prevent accidents such as this one. According to the Department of Labor, the company should have had the material shorter in height to prevent falling, in addition to having the wiring properly stacked and secured.
The company now has 15 days to appeal the $3,500 fine the Department of Labor levied against them. Although paying the fine may be considered accepting responsibility for some, many families may feel they are owed that same debt for their loss. Some North Carolina families who are forced to overcome such a workplace injury of fatality may wish to file a claim for worker’s compensation survivor benefits. The monetary compensation they can possibly receive may prove to be very beneficial to ensure the family of the deceased worker can be financially stable after such a loss.
Source: wral.com, State fines Sanford firm over worker’s death, Matthew Burns, Dec. 18, 2013