A Laguna Hills business is facing a $164,275 fine after an employee was electrocuted last year while working on a scaffold at Mission Viejo High School.
According to a news report in The Orange County Register, in July 2014, 23-year-old Daniel Pohl was on top of a 25- to 35-foot metal scaffold on a football field when he was electrocuted by overhead wires.
A second man was also shocked when he tried to help Pohl. He survived, but suffered significant electrical burns that required surgeries.
In January, the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health slapped a penalty on Laguna Hills-based Five Star Plastering Inc. for six violations, particularly for failing to take the necessary measures to protect employees from 12,000-volt electrical lines.
In addition, the employer was cited for failing to provide personal protective equipment to workers. The company has appealed the fine.
The Danger of Electrocution
Electrocution occurs when a human being is exposed to a lethal amount of electricity.
OSHA refers to electrocution as one of the “fatal four” causes of construction worker deaths – falls, struck-by and caught in/between being the other three common occurrences.
Employers are required under the law to scout a worksite for live wires or electrocution dangers before work can begin.
Workers are also required to be equipped with protective equipment before they begin work.
Compensation for Workers
When a worker is injured or killed on the job, they can seek workers’ compensation benefits from the employer.
However, workers’ compensation benefits are often not sufficient to help workers get back on their feet, especially if they have sustained long-term injuries that lead to disabilities or if they have been killed.
In such cases, filing a third-party claim may be an option.
Such claims are usually filed against parties that are not the employer, whose negligence may have caused or contributed to the incident.
Examples of third parties include construction companies, property owners, sub-contractors and manufacturers of defective products.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a construction accident or a workplace accident, please contact an experienced Orange County personal injury lawyer who has a successful track record with third-party claims.
The best personal injury law firms will always offer a free consultation and comprehensive case evaluation to injured victims and their families.