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Some thoughts, considerations regarding work-related injuries

How much for a human life?

That is of course an acutely sensitive question.

And it is likely an awkward query for government safety officials and employers in every instance it is raised in the context of a fatal work-related incident in California.

Consider this, as noted in a recent article discussing fines handed out by California safety regulators in on-the-job injury cases: That piece reports that the state Division of Occupational Safety and Health -- better known through its shorthand moniker of Cal-OSHA -- hits the brakes at $70,000 when it slaps fines on corporate wrongdoers whose negligence or wanton acts or omissions seriously injure or kill a worker.

The article states what must reasonably strike many readers of our workplace injury and workers' compensation blog as being both patently unfair and illogical, namely, that a paltry 70 grand is "the highest penalty per citation allowed by law."

Reportedly, that ceiling amount -- which was imposed on more than 80 California businesses last year -- could be adjusted upward in 2016 after remaining the same for decades. If it is, it will be aligned with inflation. The above-cited article states that an adjustment would increase maximum fine amounts "by about 80 percent."

To borrow a phrase from a well-known and somewhat time-worn pop song, most California workers work hard for the money. They give their all for employers, and have a reasonable expectation that, while doing so, their company principals have made good-faith efforts to render worksites safe.

When that is not the case and an on-the-job injury results, a victimized worker has the legal right to pursue a money recovery.

A law firm with proven advocacy on behalf of California workers can answer questions and provide diligent legal representation in a workplace-based injury claim.

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