According to the chief of the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health, employers must ensure that employees maintain the required clearances when they work anywhere near energized overhead power lines. This is part of the responsibilities of all employers to identify and evaluate workplace hazards. Too many workers suffer electrical shocks or electrocution in workplace accidents.
However, some companies show a total disregard for employee safety. Cal/OSHA reports that it recently proposed almost $32,500 in penalties against an outdoor advertising company at which at least six workplace accidents occurred over the past three years. The agency noted further that it has carried out 11 investigations at this company during that time.
Reportedly, the latest citations follow an investigation into a February incident in which a worker suffered serious burn injuries over 25 percent of his body. The workplace accident happened while the worker was part of a crew that was working 25 feet above ground level. While using metal poles to hang a 14-by-48-foot sign, one of the poles came into contact with a high-voltage power line.
Burn-injury victims often require long-term therapy and medical care, and severe burns might involve skin grafts. Not only will victims have to deal with mounting medical bills, they will likely also have to contend with lost wages. Although injured workers might be entitled to claim workers’ compensation benefits to take care of those matters, the claims process could be complicated. For that reason, many victims of workplace accidents in California choose to use the services of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to handle the claims process for them.