Late last week, a local newspaper reported that a Kia Motors employee died after an accident at the plant. Apparently, the employee was moving equipment at the plant when an extremely heavy piece of equipment fell on him. Unfortunately, the material was so heavy that it caused him to lose his ability to breathe, and he subsequently died because of asphyxiation.
The company has not yet released any information regarding the accident, but the case is currently being investigated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Additionally, the coroner’s office has scheduled an autopsy.
Georgia OSHA Regulations
OSHA regulates workplace safety by establishing a certain set of standards that employers and businesses must abide by. The regulations set up by OSHA override any specific state health and safety laws.
OSHA encompasses almost all aspects of the workplace in terms of health and safety. The regulations dictate the type of training, skill, and supervision employees need regarding specific job duties and the workplace in general. Furthermore, it also explains the ramifications if an employer does not abide by the rules that it has established.
After a workplace accident, OSHA often investigates the circumstances surrounding the accident. Investigators look into the actual physical characteristics of the workplace and will probe into the policies and training procedures of the particular job. For example, the inspectors will look to see if the employees are given training and operation manuals of equipment that they need to use. They will also investigate whether the equipment that employees are using has been properly maintained. If OSHA finds that there is a violation, the employer may face repercussions, including fines and suspension of activities.
Am I Covered by OSHA and What Are My Rights?
Generally, individuals who work for a private company are covered by state OSHA laws or federal OSHA regulations. Georgia does not have its own state OSHA laws, so the federal regulations are controlling. If an individual works for the federal government, the employing agency is bound by OSHA regulations.
Under OSHA, employees have several rights, including but not limited to the right to request information from their employers regarding occupational injuries and any risks that the employee may incur working for the company. Furthermore, employees have the right to ask their employers to rectify dangerous situations if they are violating OSHA rules. Employees or their representatives can also file a complaint against their employer.
Has a Loved One Been Involved in a Fatal Workplace Accident?
If someone you know has been involved in a fatal workplace accident, you may be eligible for compensation and benefits because of your loss. Under Georgia law, you may be entitled to payment for funeral expenses up to about $7,500. Furthermore, you may be able to be compensated for medical bills that were a result of the accident. Workplace accidents can often be complicated to prepare and present to a judge or a jury, so it is highly beneficial to have an attorney assist you with this task. Please contact one of our dedicated and experienced attorneys at 770-284-3727 to set up a free initial consultation today.
See Related Blog Posts
Another Drunk Driving Crash, This Time in Lumpkin County, Marietta Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, September 17, 2014.
Georgia Woman Dies in South Carolina Accident, Marietta Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, October 13, 2014.