After Killer Whale Accident, Trainers May Have to Stay on Land

In an Orlando, Florida case involving the death of a trainer working with killer whales at SeaWorld, an administrative law judge recently ruled that the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) could require the use of barriers between trainers and whales, according to a recent news report from CBS Los Angeles. The ruling may change how trainers and whales work together at aquatic theme parks and museums throughout the country, including California.

The subject of the hearing was a 2010 fatal drowning accident at SeaWorld in Orlando, where a 40-year-old trainer lost her life when a 22-foot-long orca grabbed her ponytail in his jaws and pulled her into the tank. She suffered drowning and blunt force trauma to her head, neck, and upper body, which proved fatal.

OSHA charged SeaWorld with a “willful” violation of safety regulations and levied a $75,000 fine. During the recent hearing, the judge reduced the violation from “willful” to “serious,” noting that SeaWorld did have safety measures in place.

However, the judge also ruled that it was “feasible” to require trainers to stay behind a barrier when working with whales and other animals in order to prevent accidents such as the 2010 death. OSHA is expected to begin requiring these barriers, effectively ending shows in which trainers and animals work in close contact.

Workplace injuries can occur both in high-profile jobs like theme park attractions and in everyday workplaces. If you’ve been injured on the job in southern California, the knowledgeable San Diego workplace injury lawyers can help. Contact us today for a free, confidential consultation.

Escondido Construction Worker Killed in Chula Vista Construction Accident

Last Thursday, a construction worker was killed in Chula Vista when a wall fell crushing him to death. The wall was to a building being demolished to make room for Unified Port of San Diego convention and hotel area.

On Sunday, the worker was identified as Austin Sawicki of Escondido.

We are saddened to hear of Mr. Sawicki’s passing and give our sympathy to his family.

Escondido Construction Worker Killed in Chula Vista Construction Accident

Last Thursday, a construction worker was killed in Chula Vista when a wall fell crushing him to death. The wall was to a building being demolished to make room for Unified Port of San Diego convention and hotel area.

On Sunday, the worker was identified as Austin Sawicki of Escondido.

We are saddened to hear of Mr. Sawicki’s passing and give our sympathy to his family.

San Diego Work Injury Attorney

Different jobs carry different risks. It can be as safe as sitting in an air-conditioned office behind a computer or as dangerous as doing construction on the roof of a 30-story open-aired building, being thrashed by a storm.

It is your employer’s responsibility to keep you safe on the job or cover your expenses if you get injured. Though the California Workers Compensation Act limits the types of benefits you can receive, you may still be able to pursue a personal injury lawsuit depending on the situation. This system can overlap and become very complicated. With an experienced San Diego work injury attorney by your side, you can get the most from your accident.

It is Your Employer’s Responsibility to Keep You Safe on the Job or Cover Your Expenses if you Get Injured. In Addition, Other Drivers and Employees of Other Businesses May Also be Responsible for Your Injuries. Filing a Claim can be Difficult. An Experienced Attorney Can Help.

Thousands of Americans and residents of San Diego are hurt in work-related accidents every year. In a 2009 report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 3.3 million injuries were reported, and more than half were construction workers. Recent changes in laws governing employees in California have restricted the types of reparation available to injured victims. 

Depending on the circumstances of the incident, injured employees may be entitled to benefits from a worker’s compensation claim, personal injury lawsuit, or both.   

Workers Compensation 

The California Workers Compensation Act states that businesses in San Diego are held liable if an employee is injured on the job and must provide medical compensation and income replacement.   

However, this system is a double-edged sword. Though employees do not have to prove fault to get compensation from their employers, the insurance coverage that they do get often does not provide enough benefits for injured workers.     

Personal Injury – Third-Party Damages  

However, in many situations, injured workers can pursue both a worker’s compensation claim and a lawsuit against a responsible third-party responsible, if it is not the employer.   

For example, if an employee is injured is hit on the job while driving a company car, the injured employee may be entitled to a personal injury lawsuit against the driver of the other vehicle. While pursuing this claim, he is still able to receive benefits through his employer’s workers compensation insurance. Pursuing a third-party claim can result in added compensation to the injured worker. 

This is a problematic situation because the compensation that an employee receives from a third-party claim may negate a portion of the benefits from the workers compensation insurance.   

 

Contact a Work Injury Attorney  

With an experienced and capable San Diego work injury lawyer by your side, these issues can be resolved. Our attorneys will get the maximum amount of money for you to pay for the damages inflicted on you by the work accident and resolve issues between the third party, employer, and you.

Wind Power Facilities Linked to Deadly Accidents

Wind turbines are often touted as “green” alternatives to generating electricity that don’t rely on petroleum or create greenhouse gases or dangerous radiation, the way conventional coal or nuclear plants often do. However, little attention has been paid recently to the serious accidents that can take place at wind turbine sites, according to a recent article in East County Magazine.

According to researchers, approximately 128 wind turbine workers die each year as a result of workplace accidents. Many of these accidents occur while workers are attempting to repair or maintain the wind turbines’ spinning blades. Although the equipment is supposed to have shut-off systems to prevent accidents caused by moving blades, the turbines are so delicate that even a moderate breeze may start them moving, causing accidents.

The height of most wind turbines also creates a risk for workers. Several fatal work accidents since 2003 have involved workers whose safety equipment has malfunctioned or been caught in wind turbine equipment and broken, causing them to fall several hundred feet to the ground. Finally, weather conditions often contribute to wind turbine injuries and deaths, such as a 1994 Minnesota accident in which a man was seriously injured by chunks of ice falling from wind turbine blades.

Our trained San Diego workplace accident attorneys apply their legal skills and practical experience to fight for outstanding results for each client we represent. We’re dedicated to helping injured workers and their families get the compensation they need so they can focus on getting back on their feet. For a free and confidential consultation, contact us today.

San Diego Man Dies in Miramar Landfill Workplace Accident

A San Diego man was killed on February 6 at the Miramar Landfill in a workplace accident when a forklift fell from a rental truck on top of him, crushing him. The man, Lee Haleem, was at the landfill because he was relocating his business and went to the landfill as part of his move.

He was backing the forklift from a rented truck when the forklift backed over the tailgate, causing it to tip over and crushing Haleem. He was taken to the hospital but was declared dead less than an hour after the industrial accident.