Based on the safety regulations prescribed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, employees in Florida should be able to rely on their employers to provide work environments that are free of known hazards. Although accidents can certainly happen despite safety precautions, it is unacceptable for employers to put their employees’ lives on the line willfully. Fortunately, the state’s workers’ compensation insurance program is there to protect injured workers and provide financial assistance to families who lose loved ones in work-related accidents.

OSHA reported the outcome of an investigation into a work-related accident that occurred on July 10. Reportedly, an employee of a company that does underground utility construction miraculously escaped death when a diamond concrete saw blade cut his throat. OSHA proposed a fine of more than $51,700. It was classified as a willful violation.

The OSHA release indicates that the employer allowed the safety device that the manufacturer of the hand-held cut-off saw installed on the power tool to be removed, exposing the blade. When it kicked back while the worker cut a pipe, the rotating blade struck his throat. Safety authorities described a near-miss episode that could have killed the worker, and should never have happened.

Florida workers who suffer work-related injuries are typically eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Some find the claims process too complicated to navigate alone, and professional help is available. An attorney who is experienced in fighting for the rights of injured workers can provide the necessary support and guidance in pursuit of benefits to cover medical expenses and lost wages.