Money and GavelWorkers put their lives on the line every single day in the United States, just so they can earn enough money to put food on the table for their families. While some jobs are naturally more dangerous than others, government organizations — like the Occupational Safety and Health Association (OSHA) — exist to make sure businesses follow workplace safety standards to prevent unnecessary accidents and injuries. Recently, California’s division of OSHA cited and fined an industrial services company for failing to provide safe working conditions to an employee, who suffered a serious burn injury in an accident.

Steel Tank Erupts in Flames with Painter Trapped Inside

The incident occurred late last year, when the worker was painting the inner part of a tank made of steel. The man was coating the interior of the tank with a flammable material while using a halogen light to see what he was doing. The enclosed space filled with flammable fumes. The halogen lamp caused the fumes to ignite and the area was engulfed in flames. The 37-year-old painter was rescued before the situation became fatal, but not before he suffered serious burns. The man required medical treatment in a San Joaquin hospital burn unit for several days while recovering from his injuries.

Cal/OSHA Cited Employer for Numerous Safety Violations

Cal/OSHA investigated the accident and found that it was completely avoidable and never would have occurred if the injured man’s employer had followed state workplace safety regulations. Cal/OSHA fined the California-based employer, Shar-Craft, more than $82,000 for a variety of workplace safety violations. Some of the violations included: the use of an unauthorized electric light that was known by the company to be unauthorized; failure to have a permit to work in closed spaces; protective equipment violations; and failure to have a proper ventilation system.

In most cases that involve a workplace injury that requires medical care, rehabilitative treatment and/or time unable to work, injured workers may be able to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. For those who are left unable to work by an injury, this kind of financial aid can represent a lifeline of support to help them get back on their feet again. Those who are considering the pursuit of a workers' compensation claim may also wish to obtain legal assistance to ensure that their claims are successfully prepared.