Los Angeles readers may have heard about a fatal rail accident earlier this month involving a Bay Area Rapid Transit train that killed two workers. The individuals were reportedly struck by a train doing maintenance and training activity.
The driver responsible for the incident was reportedly both inexperienced and improperly supervised. According to an investigation conducted after the accident, the manager who was in charge of the driver was not close enough to the operator the time of the crash to actually give him adequate guidance.
The workers who died in the crash were, according to the investigation, not made aware that a train could be coming through. In fact, it was found that the transit authority had a policy that required such workers to look out for their own safety. The California Occupational Health and Safety Administration, after looking into the incident, cited Bay Area Rapid Transit for "willful serious safety violations" and fined Bay Area Rapid Transit a total of $210,000.
It isn't clear yet whether Bay Area Rapid Transit will challenge the fines, but the transportation authority has already changed its company policies concerning communication with rail workers and other safety protocol.
Workplace injuries, as this story proves, can sometimes be more than serious--they can even be fatal. Companies who fail to protect their workers need to be held accountable so that they change their practices and stop putting employees at unnecessary risk. Moreover, those who deal with a dangerous work environment on a daily basis need to know their rights in the event of injury, and it can help to consult an experienced attorney with any questions.
Source: CBS Sacramento, "BART Fined $210,000 After Worker Deaths In October Accident," April 17, 2014.