An employee has a right to safety as well as a responsibility to report dangerous conditions on the job. Improper training, ignorance of safety protocols and poorly maintained equipment can lead to injury or even death for workers. When an attentive employee reports such violations to leadership, the expectation is that the dangerous situations will be rectified. In California, one man was recently killed and another man fired as a result of safety issues at a popular retail donation store.
The fatal event happened as a result of a man being crushed by heavy equipment. The man was checking the alignment of a bin when the driver of a truck suddenly released the heavy bin and crushed the young man's head. His co-worker, who witnessed the accident, alleged that employees were not being properly trained regarding the safety protocols of using the heavy equipment.
After one week, the co-worker was fired by the company for a supposed safety violation. The man feels like he was targeted since he was cooperating with safety investigators as they looked into the incident. The man also had been reporting safety violations to his supervisors and leadership of the company for months and kept the documentation to prove it.
This California company is now dealing with penalties and fines related to safety violations and workplace injuries. Workers who experience the same type of issues may also choose to follow the man's example by reporting safety violations and injuries as well as keeping records of any reports. An employee injured at work, or family of a worker hurt on the job, is typically entitled to receive payouts from workers' comp insurance. A knowledgeable attorney can assist with making any claims so that the person receives the maximum amount of benefits allowable for his or her injuries.
Source: The Sacramento Bee, "Former Sacramento Goodwill employee files whistleblower complaint", Marjie Lundstrom, June 12, 2017