In an absolutely awful fatal Illinois workplace accident that occurred at a factory for household and grooming products, a temporary worker was doused in hot citric-acid and suffered burns across most of his body. The man was clearly in agony after the accident, but factory officials wanted him to be taken to an occupational health clinic. Therefore, the officials refused to call emergency services and had another temporary worker drive the injured man to the clinic. It was over an hour and a half before the worker was tended to.
The clinic was not equipped for such injuries, and the man was transferred. He died three weeks later. Accordingly, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration conducted an investigation of the worksite and found a number of violations, some of which they classified as willful. The total fines OSHA leveled against the factory for their neglect of safety regulations totaled $473,000.
While the surviving families of workers killed while on the job can collect workers’ compensation death benefits, in instances of further negligence, a family could be entitled to further compensation. This family filed a wrongful death claim against the factory where this man was fatally injured on the job.
The factory is saying that the man should have known the risks inherent with the position and that the injuries were his fault for not taking the proper precautions. The fact that this man was left to suffer when the factory refused to call 9-1-1 is simply unimaginable. That is practically torture. Whether or not this man could have survived if he received the proper attention in a timelier manner is unknown. Further, the outcome of this wrongful death claim remains to be seen as this factory looks to dodge responsibility and the family seeks answers and justice.
Source: WBEZ, “Company: Temporary worker to blame for his fatal burns,” Chip Mitchell, Jan. 7, 2013