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Workplace Accidents – Can They Lead to Criminal Liability?

Workplace Accidents – Can They Lead to Criminal Liability?

Avoiding workplace accidents is in the best interests of everyone involved in the company. When everyone stays safe, employees get to continue living their lives as normal and the business avoids paying hefty fines and legal bills. An increased focus on worker safety can also help company owners and managers avoid a criminal conviction.

That's right, workplace accidents can potentially lead to criminal charges. If your negligent actions lead to a death in the workplace you may face federal prosecution under the Occupational Safety and Health Act. It is also possible to be charged by your state - though the exact laws will vary depending on exactly where your company is located.

Workplace Accidents - Potential Criminal Punishments

Workplace Accidents - Potential Criminal PunishmentsThe Occupational Safety and Health Act states that you may be personally charged with a federal crime if you commit a willful safety violation which leads to a workplace death. At the time of writing, the maximum fine that may be levied for such a violation is $250,000. However, you may also be ordered to spend up to six months in jail for committing the crime.

The potential punishment that you could face from your state will, of course, depend on your company's home address. Many states use sentencing guidelines which are quite similar to those of the federal government. However, there are quite a few states that dole out much more serious punishments.

Maine is one of the states which sets its own, more stringent workplace accident laws. Indeed, a recent case in the state saw a construction company owner facing workplace manslaughter charges after one of his employees fell from the third floor of an apartment building and died. The prosecution argues that the employer did not ensure that his work was using the correct safety equipment and is therefore responsible for his death. If convicted, the business owner will face up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.

Workplace Accidents - Preventing them with Brad Hurtig

Workplace Accidents - Preventing them with Brad HurtigGiven the potentially devastating personal, emotional, financial, and legal costs of workplace accidents, you have probably been searching for ways to reduce or even eliminate them. Fortunately, you don't need to look very far. Hiring an experienced corporate speaker like Brad Hurtig is an excellent first step on your road to creating a safer workplace.

As a teenager, Brad was the victim of a serious accident that caused him to lose both of his forearms. Since then, he has spent years touring the country teaching companies in a wide variety of industries how to prevent workplace accidents. He understands the devastation that serious injuries can cause and is ready to help your business take steps toward eliminating them.

If you would like to have Brad Hurtig provide you with his expert advice on how to make your company safer, please contact us today! We will review your needs and get back to you as soon as possible with more information about how, and when, Brad can be of assistance to you and your companies needs.