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Written by AskTheLawyers.com™ on behalf of Allegra Carpenter with Allegra-Law.
After replacing fluorescent light fixtures with LED options, an accident caused severe and deadly burn injuries for a 28-year-old worker at the Santa Fe Community Convention Center. The question remains: did the company do everything it was supposed to do to ensure the safety of their employee?
The incident occurred due to the electricity still being on while the worker was changing out the light bulbs in the kitchen of the convention center. After he was then shocked and burned, he was transported to a local hospital on the Monday following the accident, but was then transferred to a burn unit in Denver, Colorado, where he died as a result of those injuries.
The issue in this case was protocol—the power should have been off while working on those lights. New Mexico’s Occupational Health and Safety Bureau, a division of the state’s Environment Department, is currently working on the investigation, collaborating with the city’s Risk Management and Safety Division. The focus is to determine accountability—who’s at fault?
In many cases like this, it’s not about criminal charges or even wrongdoing. No one necessarily broke the law inasmuch as certain parties may have to be responsible in accordance with the law. That would mean penalties or fines, of course. This would apply in a variety of niches, too, but it’s to ensure fairness for all parties based on the accident. It may have an accident, but ultimately someone—or multiple parties, in fact—was at fault for the issue at hand. All workplace injuries can be prevented.
In workers' comp and wrongful death cases, the compensation revolves around emotional distress, grief, and a loss of income. Because of the wrongful death, a family could be affected by the fact that a breadwinner no longer has the ability to provide for the family. The accountability provided by the law then ensures that family has a safeguard in place.
However, accountability could fall on a particular individual who was supposed to be responsible for ensuring electricity was turned off and other parameters were put in place during renovations and other projects were managed. If you happen to be a victim of a wrongful death or workers' comp claim, it’s in your best interest to contact a lawyer and consult with a professional on the best course of action.
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™ on behalf of Allegra Carpenter
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