Randy Ribota, a 49-year-old worker died in an Anaheim workplace accident after he was crushed under a metal bin full of rocks at a CTI Telecom work site. According to an article in The Orange County Register.
Just before the fatal workplace accident Ribota was using a backhoe to load dirt and rubble into a machine that separates big pieces of rock from gravel. He had left the backhoe and was standing near the machine when its load of rock shifted and the bin tipped onto him and crushed him. Ribota died on the scene before the medics could get to him.
Officials from the California Division of Occupational Safety and Heath (CAL-OSHA) are investigating the industrial accident. Specifically, they are looking into what kind of safety training workers receive at CTI Telecom, a communications company which also does excavations for underground utility lines. The company, according to the news report, paid a $1,500 fine in 2004 for failing to have an injury and illness prevention program for its employees, not having a first-aid kit on their work site and not having an excavation permit.
My sincere condolences go out to the Ribota family, which has suffered a tremendous loss. Industrial accidents are tragic, but in many cases, entirely avoidable. In 2005, there were 453 deaths related to industrial accidents in California. In California, every employer has the legal obligation to provide and maintain a safe and healthy workplace for all employees, according to the California Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1973.
I’m sure the question that is worrying Mr. Ribota’s family now is whether CTI provided adequate training for him to perform the job he was doing at the time of his workplace injury. Another issue here is the equipment he was working with and whether or not for any malfunctions or defects that could have contributed to the accident existed. When the investigation concludes, we’ll hopefully find out what caused Mr. Ribota’s accidental death. However, Mr. Ribota’s family would certainly benefit from having a personal injury attorney on their side to conduct a thorough investigation and determine who or what was to blame for this tragic fatality and to protect their rights.