Unlike the laws that govern ordinary people, the laws regarding workplace safety offer unfair protections to businesses that expose employees to unnecessary and preventable dangers. In fact, workers compensation laws (originally enacted to provide financial protection for injured workers) often act to restrict the types of lawsuits that can be brought for workplace injury and in many cases prevent the injured employee or his family from being able to sue at all. In addition to the risks associated with mismanaged and poorly-supervised worksites, all too often a defective product also plays a role in a workplace injury or death.
Over the years, lawyers in our firm have represented scores of individuals who have been severely injured by a defective product used in a workplace. If a supervisor removes a guard from a saw and an employee is later injured, the supervisor and the company may be liable for that removal. Additionally, if the removal of the guard was foreseeable to the manufacturer, the product may be defective under Alabama law. Examples of cases we have handled involving defective products that caused workplace injuries include: woodworking machinery that lacked anti-kickback teeth to prevent violent ejection of wood pieces into a nearby worker, a tractor-mounted posthole digger that lacked a guard to prevent a worker from being entangled in an exposed rotating bolt, an excavator quick coupler that failed and allowed the excavator bucket to fall onto a worker, a horizontal boring machine that lacked proper torque control and operator presence technology to prevent the machine from overturning and crushing a worker, ungrounded electrical equipment, and many more instances of workplace injury and death caused by defective products.
In addition to defective products which cause workplace injuries, many cases arise out of the failure of an employer to follow established safety procedures for hazardous activities. Our firm currently represents the family of a man who was electrocuted while installing underground power lines in a north Georgia neighborhood. While the case is in its initial stages, it appears that the power company hired a subcontractor to do much of the work and failed to properly supervise the worksite.
Significantly for our case, the power company failed to ensure that its electrical transformers were locked and properly insulated. Sadly, our client’s husband inadvertently contacted unguarded electrical connectors inside an open transformer cabinet and was killed in an incident which could have been easily prevented if the power company simply followed its own safety procedures. We look forward to developing this important workplace death case and will update you as it progresses. If you would like more information on workplace liability or any facet of safety relating to workers, contact Mike Andrews at 800-898-2034 or by email at Michael.Andrews@beasleyallen.com.
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