The death of a 20-year-old worker at Georgia Power’s Plant Scherer has led to an investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Details are still hazy as to what happened to cause his death, but Monroe County Coroner Joey Proctor stated that he had been hit in the head with some type of equipment.
Working in the energy industry can be unsafe, but that’s not simply due to the nature of the work. When safety protocols are followed by the employer and employees, these jobs should be no more dangerous than sitting at a desk. However, negligent behavior combined with heavy equipment can easily lead to a fatal work accident. As more information comes out about the Plant Scherer worker’s death, we’ll see whether negligence of a third party contributed to the accident.
Who is Liable When an Independent Contractor Dies on the Job?
The classification of a worker as an independent contractor introduces complications in the question of liability for workplace accidents. When an employee suffers injury or dies, that employee or his or her immediate family are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. But independent contractors are not afforded those benefits. Instead, it may be necessary for the worker to file a third-party personal injury claim to fight for damages. Additionally, many companies outsource to independent contractors, and those independent contractors may outsource to other independent contractors, so liability can be difficult to pin down in these cases. When in doubt, it is always best to have your case looked at by a work injury attorney.