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Workers’ compensation: Property company fined by OSHA

Most workplaces here in North Carolina and across the country will do whatever they can to keep their employees safe. Sadly, employees are sometimes hurt or even killed while on the job due to dangerous work conditions. The majority of companies don’t deliberately jeopardize the health of employees, but they may fail to follow safety procedures that could save lives and avoid the need for workers’ compensation. This is what the Occupational Safety and Health Administration says that occurred regarding a worker’s death while he was working on an apartment building.

The incident in question happened late last year out of state. A man was on an aerial lift working on an apartment building that was just one of many owned by a property company. The worker fell 20 feet from the lift and died. OSHA investigated the incident and concluded that the property management company should be fined over $32,000.

The fine is not only due to safety violations, but also because OSHA claims the company failed to notify the administration of the fatality and a second incident where an employee was hospitalized for a workplace injury. OSHA also determined that the company did not have an accident prevention program or encourage employees to use any fall protection.

The company has a short amount of time before it will have to answer to the investigation findings. It could contest them, request an informal conference with OSHA representatives or simply pay the fine. The company has not commented publicly about the accident or OSHA’s investigation.

It is up to workplaces to ensure that employees in all industries are able to do their jobs as safely as possible. When an employee is injured while at work, he or she may decide to file for workers’ compensation benefits. If a worker dies on the job, his or her family may be able to collect survivors’ benefits. Workers here in North Carolina who are unsure about the process may want to consult an experienced attorney who understands this area of the law.