Washington State has announced that it has fined aircraft giant Boeing $3,600 for a workplace accident, according to news reports.
The accident, which took place on February 3, resulted in an employee’s losing his legs. Apparently, a 787 was being towed on a runway at the Boeing plant in Everett when the plane literally ran over the employee’s legs. The company was cited by the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries because the supervisor “verbally instructed the tow team leader to deviate from written aircraft towing procedures by removing the two wing walkers and tail walker from their assigned positions while towing the aircraft on the taxiway.”
This is not Boeing’s first serious workplace accident. The Department of Labor and Industries is currently investigating another workplace accident that occurred in March. Since 2009, Boeing has had 10 serious accidents that required investigation by the Department of Labor and Industries. The agency automatically conducts an investigation anytime an employee is killed or is admitted to a hospital.
Liability for Workplace Injuries
An employee can be injured at any workplace; however, there are some jobs that are inherently more dangerous than others. Police officers and firefighters, construction workers, and anyone who works around chemicals, explosives, electricity or natural gas, for example, may be at higher risk for being injured on the job. In the State of Washington, as in all states, workplace injuries are typically covered under the state’s workers’ compensation system. Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system that offers workers who have been injured on the job coverage for medical treatment and wage replacement. Although the workers’ compensation system may be one avenue to pursue for compensation, the employer may also be directly liable for injuries or for the death of a worker.
State and Federal Workplace Laws
At the federal level, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, is responsible for enforcing the workplace laws in effect throughout the nation. In the State of Washington, the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries does much the same thing that OSHA does at the national level. When a worker is injured or killed on the job, either OSHA or the Department of Labor and Industries (or both) may initiate an investigation into the injury or death. Although a finding by either of these agencies thata violation has occurred is not enough to prove the employer was negligent, it may be a good indication of negligence on the part of the employer.
What Are My Legal Options If I Have Been Injured On The Job?
If you have suffered a workplace injury in the Yakima area, or have lost a loved one as the result of a workplace accident, you may have more than one legal option available to pursue compensation for your injuries or loss. The best way to know what options you have is to discuss the facts of your case with an experienced Yakima-area workplace accident attorney. We can help. Contact our legal team today by calling (509) 853-2222 or by using our online contact form for your free initial consultation.