The family of a temporary worker who died in December 2011 after he was sprayed with a citric acid solution at a factory in Bedford Park has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the owner of the factory. The man was allegedly burned when a hot chemical solution exploded from a tank he was cleaning at the Raani Corporation. The temporary worker was reportedly burned on approximately 80 percent of his body. He allegedly died as a result of his burn injuries three weeks after the industrial accident.
According to a lawsuit filed by the man’s relatives in Cook County Circuit Court, company managers refused to summon emergency rescue crews to the scene of the deadly workplace accident. The Raani Corporation is also accused of neglecting to wash the worker in a company safety shower and refusing to send the worker to the hospital. The lawsuit alleges the deceased man did not receive medical treatment until he was taken to an occupational health clinic by a co-worker more than half an hour after he was burned.
Because the Raani Corporation allegedly failed to report the worker’s death to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), the organization began an investigation into the industrial accident following a referral from the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office. OSHA was established by the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. Under the Act, employers in the United States are required to comply with federal health and safety laws and regulations designed to protect workers from avoidable workplace safety hazards. When an employee is seriously injured or dies as a result of a workplace accident, OSHA will normally investigate the incident.
Following the investigation, OSHA imposed $473,000 in fines for 14 safety violations allegedly committed by the company. The 14 violations included six willful violations, seven serious violations, and one other-than-serious violation. A willful safety violation occurs when an employer acts with plain indifference to employee health and safety or intentionally violated safety regulations. A serious violation occurs when a worker is substantially likely to be physically harmed by a safety violation that an employer knew or should have been aware of. An other-than-serious violation exists when an employer disregards a safety regulation, but the violation is unlikely to cause physical harm or injury to an employee.
As a result of the worker’s death, the Raani Corporation was placed in the OSHA Severe Violator Enforcement Program. Companies that are placed in the program are reportedly subject to targeted follow-up safety inspections in an effort to ensure future compliance with established safety laws and regulations. In February 2012, two follow-up inspections at the company reportedly resulted in 14 additional health and safety violations and more than $60,000 in fines.
Although most workplace injuries are subject to Illinois workers’ compensation laws, a third party such as a general contractor or equipment manufacturer may also be held liable for an employee’s injury. If you were hurt or lost a loved one in a workplace accident, you need a dedicated personal injury lawyer on your side.
Call the attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. at (312) 475-9596 if you or a family member was hurt in an accident at work. Our hardworking Chicago work injury lawyers are available 24 hours a day, seven days per week to help you file your workplace injury claim. For a free consultation with a committed personal injury attorney, do not hesitate to contact Abels & Annes, P.C. through the law firm’s website.
Note: Abels & Annes, P.C. does not represent the victim’s family in the above mentioned lawsuit.
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