Workplace accidents and injuries are a reality of life in California. Accidents happen and cannot always be prevented, that's why they're called accidents. That said, if safety rules are not followed to the letter at a worksite, tragic workplace injuries can result. Such was the case in a deadly accident in Rancho Santa Margarita.
Five Star Plastering, Inc. was hired to erect a scaffold on a school football field that would display a banner supporting the school's team. Two men, both 23, were tasked with working near the top of the scaffold, which was near power lines. The top of the scaffold was roughly 2 feet below the power lines that had not been properly checked to determine if they were a safe distance from the scaffold. The two young men were electrocuted by the lines. One was killed and the other suffered serious and permanent injuries.
Five Star Plastering, Inc. was fined $164,000 by Cal/OSHA for willfully failing to observe safety rules. Felony charges are being brought by the Orange County DA's office. The workers and company involved entered no contest pleas and so the charges were reduced to misdemeanors instead of felonies. They were sentenced to community service and placed on probation.
Construction workers in California have a right to feel safe on the job. When shortcuts are taken where safety is involved, workplace injuries, sometimes fatal, are likely to happen. If a loved one dies on the job in California there are legal avenues that surviving family members can pursue. Speaking with an experienced workers' compensation attorney can assist them in determining what legal paths are open to them.