A worker at a Grapevine power plant near Bakersfield suffered serious on the job personal injuries after he took a 20-foot fall from an internal walkway inside an air filtration unit, according to this news report. This work-related injury accident occurred the morning of February 23, 2009 at the Pastoria Power Plant in Grapevine. The worker was apparently in the process of changing the filters when the accident happened.
My heart goes out to this worker, who was injured while on-the-job. I hope his injuries were not catastrophic and wish him the very best for a speedy and complete recovery.
According to Cal/OSHA’s Web site, there were 453 fatal industrial accidents in California during the year 2005. About 110 of these accidents occurred in an industrial facility. Most of the accidents also had to do with malfunctioning or badly-maintained equipment.
This news report does not provide more details about how and why this on-the-job injury accident occurred. There are several questions that need to be answered. Were all the proper procedures followed during the process of changing the filters? Was this injured worker properly trained by his employer to do this job? Were any of his co-workers careless or negligent during their maintenance of the filters?
Clearly, in this case, the worker is entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits through his employer, Pastoria Power Plant. However, workers’ compensation benefits in California are inadequate to compensate a victim who is critically injured for all medical expenses and loss of wages. This injured worker in Grapevine would be well-advised to contact a skilled California personal injury attorney, who may be able to file a “third party claim” on his behalf.
A third-party claim is usually worth a lot more to workers and their families. Such claims may be filed, for example, against the manufacturer of a defective product or a negligent contractor or sub-contractor who caused the injury accident. The worker’s employer probably has their attorneys and insurance carriers on site already trying to protect their interest. The worker and his family definitely need someone on their side looking out for them and protecting their legal rights.