The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has slapped a Georgia-based company with penalties. The death was caused by the negligence of the auto transmission manufacturer, Hyundai Transys, also known as Powertech America, in its workplace safety practices. The citation from OSHA comes following the death of a Powertech employee at work.
The employee was performing routine maintenance on the transmission turnover machine when the accident took place. Somehow the machine became operational in the middle of the maintenance and killed the employee.
It had been alleged that Powertech America failed to provide suitable training to its workers on safety. More specifically, the company failed to train its workers adequately on the use of energy isolation devices. An investigation by OSHA into the matter has apparently confirmed this negligence. As a result of its findings, OSHA has slapped $68,194 in penalties on the manufacturer. Powertech America has 15 days from the pronouncement of the penalties to respond. The manufacturer can either agree to pay the penalties, request a further discussion with OSHA officials or choose to contest the findings.
It is also unclear at this point whether or not the case qualifies for a wrongful death claim. In most cases, workplace injuries are covered by workers’ compensation insurance which is mandatory for any company with 4 or more employees. However, in cases where the gross negligence of an organization causes an injury to an employee, extra penalties may apply and the victims or their survivors may further be eligible to seek civil penalties in a lawsuit.
When a company’s negligence is clear, it will often choose to settle the matter privately to avoid bad publicity. In some cases where negligence in unclear, the lawsuit may go to a court where a jury decides whether or not to award damages to the plaintiff.
If you recently lost a loved one, contact us for help immediately.