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Fatal work accident leads to accusations of lack of training

The death of a Sacramento Goodwill worker last year has lead to a widening investigation and accusations that insufficient worker training contributed to the death.

Abraham Nicholas Garza was killed when he was crushed between a bin and compactor that he was helping align. Mr. Garza has only been employed at Goodwill for a month before the accident. Other workers allege that the accident could easily have been avoided if he had been properly trained.

A Widening Investigation

Originally, Goodwill Industries of Sacramento Valley & Northern Nevada, which operates the location where the accident occurred, was fined a record $106,675 for six workplace safety violations by Cal-OSHA in relation to the accident. The scope of the investigation has since widened and is looking into allegations that workers are given only minimal training and that the training they do receive is not related to safety.

Specifically, the state accused Goodwill of not training workers about safety related to compactors. Compactors are used to crush unwanted donations. The worker who was killed, Mr. Garza, had only been working at Goodwill for a month and had allegedly not received training regarding how to safely conduct himself around the compactor. He had placed his head between the compactor and the bin which he was helping align with it.

Training Is An Essential Element Of Worker Safety

If the allegations regarding insufficient training are true, goodwill needs to be held accountable. Properly training workers on how to safely operate dangerous machinery and avoid serious injury when working in or around potential risks is an absolute necessity. No worker should be placed in a situation where they are at risk of injury or death because their employer failed to take the most basic steps to ensure their safety.

If you fear that your workplace is putting you in danger, contact the nearest Cal-OSHA office for guidance. If you or someone you love has been injured or killed on the job, an experienced compensation lawyer can help create accountability.