Workplace accidents often include faulty equipment, unsafe chemicals or human error. However, injuries are not attributed solely to workplace accidents. Recent violence against fast-food workers across the country reveals the dangers posed by violence at the workplace and the need for employers to take reasonable precautions.
An unsafe workplace may place the public at risk in addition to workers. In one case, California's Division of Occupational Safety and Health is investigating a plumbing firm for an incident at the San Francisco International Airport in Dec. that impacted two workers and revealed risks of workplace accidents.
The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration plays a vital role in the enforcement of workplace safety. But OSHA has no power to investigate workplace accidents, enforce safety rules, and impose violations for safety violations at small farms. This removes a layer of deterrence against negligent farms. A small farm is not exempt from these accidents, however. Some evidence even shows that, on average, these farms are more dangerous than other workplaces.
Employers, even government agencies, which violate workplace safety regulations can place the lives of their workers at risk. This month, the California Public Utilities Commission imposed a fine of $1.3 million on the Bay Area Rapid Transit Agency for safety violations that caused the deaths of two workers when a train struck them in October 2013. A civil lawsuit and a workers' compensation claim were also filed for this crash while fines were earlier imposed on BART for similar workplace accidents.