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Phoenix Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Arizona commission lowers fines after work accidents

Federal officials have recently issued a warning to the commission responsible for overseeing Arizona's workplace safety agency, stating that some of its practices are unlawful and should be ceased immediately. Specifically, the letter from the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration is concerned with the Industrial Commission of Arizona's lowering of fines placed on companies after preventable work accidents that result in worker injury or death. The commission oversees the Arizona division of OSHA, which regulates safety in the workplace under an approved federal plan, but these unlawful practices could jeopardize its ability to run its own safety program.

After a complaint in Dec. 2016 from a workplace safety group, the federal agency investigated. Arizona's OSHA director said the investigation found that the commission was lowering fines arbitrarily without following guidelines. Its practice of reclassifying violations meant that the commission was operating outside its legal authority.

Workers' compensation after construction accidents

Some Arizona workplace accidents are unavoidable, others preventable. Workers' compensation, for the most part, does not discriminate either way, and, with the help of a lawyer, workers injured in construction accidents are often able to receive the maximum amount of benefits after they are hurt on the job. In more tragic cases when the worker is killed, workers' compensation attorneys can often help the grieving family fight for the full amount of benefits as well.

In another state, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration is attempting to determine whether a fatal workplace accident was, in fact, preventable. An M&R Construction worker in his 40s died after a fall from a makeshift platform. His coworker, a man in his 30s, was seriously injured in the fall as well.

Some fatal construction accidents are preventable

Arizona construction sites are dangerous places, to be sure. Many companies institute safety regulations to help keep their workers safe. Imagine how many construction accidents would potentially occur without the proper precautions. Sadly, in another state, a construction company's apparent willful disregard of these safety precautions resulted in the death of a worker.

According to an official investigation by federal workplace safety inspectors, a building collapse that claimed the life of a construction worker was preventable. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued two additional citations recently against Hultgren Construction. These newest citations are only a few in the string that have already been issued after this incident, as the fatal accident could have been avoided had the company not willfully disregarded safety protocol.

Roofing accidents can prove serious or even fatal

When working on Arizona jobsites, there are, unfortunately, any number of ways in which a worker can get injured. Roofing accidents, though, can be one of the most serious. Sadly, in a state east of Arizona, a roofer recently fell to his death at his jobsite.

The man who died was a 56-year-old construction worker who had been working for the company for 29 years. According to reports from co-workers, the man was working close to the ledge on a school roof when he suddenly fell. A school nurse rushed to his side and began performing CPR. Sadly, he later died from his injuries at the hospital.

Work accidents often leave behind grieving family members in need

Accidents can happen anywhere, at any time. However, it is the responsibility of employers to do all they can to ensure the safety of their workers, minimizing risks so that Arizona employees can do their jobs safely and responsibly without constant fear of work accidents. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration concentrates on worker safety, establishing regulations and trying to make sure that companies who fail to follow regulations are held responsible. When workplace accidents do occur, the workers' compensation program helps to ensure that injured workers or their families receive compensation.

Sadly, in situations like a recent case in another state, workers' compensation can only do so much when a life has been lost. OSHA recently fined Good View Roofing & Building Supply Co. over $62,000. The company allegedly had multiple safety violations that ultimately resulted in a worker's death in a tragic forklift accident in Nov. 2016.

Workers' compensation helps grieving families in wake of loss

Because construction sites tend to be relatively more dangerous places to work, most construction companies try to do everything they can to keep their workers safe. Sadly, accidents still happen from time to time, which is one of the many reasons workers' compensation is so important. When an Arizona employee is killed in a workplace accident, the last thing the surviving family should have to worry about is money.

After a workplace accident in another state, workers' compensation will likely benefit the grieving family of a man who was killed recently while working at the SteelSummit construction site in Forest Park. The man died after a steel coil weighing somewhere between 30,000 and 50,000 pounds fell on him, pinning him from the waist down. According to reports, a 911 caller said there was a crane that could lift the coil off the man, but he was advised to await the arrival of EMTs.

Rules surrounding Arizona workers' compensation often complex

The laws surrounding workers who were injured on the job, in Arizona or elsewhere, are often complex, full of stipulations and exceptions. A recent workers' compensation case in another state proved no different. Workers' compensation is an insurance that was implemented to help protect injured employees, but with so many complicated rules and so many possibilities, the representation of a lawyer frequently proves critical.

The recent case ended with both a workers' compensation settlement and a civil suit settlement. It involved a woman who suffered a traumatic brain injury after driving from work late at night and getting into a severe car accident. She was returning home after working on a special audit at 2:30 in the morning when she veered off the road and collided with a tree.

Work accidents devastating when worker dies

An accident on the job in Arizona can mean lost wages, medical expenses and pain. But even more upsetting are work accidents that result in a loss of a life. In another state, a worker died at the construction site of a new hotel that he was helping to build.

According to reports from the local sheriff's department there, the 45-year-old subcontractor was hard at work drilling holes in a ceiling when he fell from a ladder. Tragically, the man died at the scene. He was later discovered by a co-worker.

Work accidents often avoidable with proper safety protocols

Worksites can be dangerous places. However, it is for this very reason that there are safety protocols in place. Procedures should be followed at all times to ensure the safety of Arizona workers and to avoid as many work accidents as possible. In another state, not following these safety procedures seems to have led to a dangerous workplace accident.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating a trench collapse that occurred on Tuesday, March 14. A 23-year old worker for Utility Trenching, Inc., found himself trapped inside a trench for almost seven hours. The employee had been working on a sewer main project when the trench collapsed and buried him up to his waist in dirt.

Industrial accident results in man's head trapped in excavator

After an employee has been injured on the job in Arizona, the last thing he or she should have to worry about is money. Especially in cases of severe injury where surgery is required, the injured worker should be able to concentrate on recovery, not how he or she is going to afford to pay for any required medical treatments. In another state, an injured worker had just such an experience after an industrial accident led to him needing surgery.

An employee of C&D Waste is now recovering from the surgery that was required after a workplace accident resulted in his head getting stuck in an excavator. The incident took place at approximately 3 p.m. on March 15, when the man's head somehow became trapped between the excavator's cab and the arm-like boom part of the device. No one seems entirely certain how the incident actually occurred.

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Jerome, Gibson, Stewart, Stevenson, Engle & Runbeck, P.C., provides experienced representation for workers' compensation cases in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe, Mesa, Gilbert, Glendale, Peoria, Avondale, Casa Grande, Flagstaff, Prescott, Tucson and Yuma, and throughout Maricopa County, Pima County, Pinal County and Yavapai County, and all of Arizona.

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