Untrained employee suffers fatal accident first day on the job

    garbage truckThis case involves a worker who was seriously injured in an accident on the job and who subsequently died from those injuries. The plaintiff-decedent had been hired as a temporary worker for a waste disposal company. The employment was obtained through a temporary staffing agency. The worker was assigned to work as part of a crew on a waste disposal truck and was working on the rear left side of the vehicle. It was his first time working on a waste truck. As the truck was making a right turn while moving uphill, the worker fell from the truck and hit his head on the pavement below, cracking his skull. Emergency personnel arrived soon after and transported the worker to a local hospital, where he lapsed into a coma and later died.

    Besides never having experience riding on a waste disposal truck previously, the worker had reportedly never received any instruction on the proper procedures regarding getting on and off the back of the truck, nor had he ever received training of any kind, from either the waste disposal company or the staffing agency.

    Question(s) For Expert Witness

    • 1. Did this company follow proper safety procedures when placing a new hire into the field?
    • 2. What could have been put in place to prevent this man's injury from occurring?

    Expert Witness Response E-007911

    In my position as a certified professional in the staffing industry, I have personally placed a number of workers in positions such as this one, in the recycling and waste disposal industries, and I also serve as a Director of Safety. Based on the information available in this case, it does not seem as if neither the waste disposal company nor the staffing company followed proper safety procedures. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) places a duty on all employers, regardless of the industry, to do everything in their power to keep all of their workers as safe as possible. That means training every worker for the job they’re assigned to perform, and providing proper safety equipment where necessary.

    This injury could have been prevented by having the worker participate in an established training program, and by supplying the appropriate personal protective equipment for the job. For example, it’s possible that a properly fitting hard hat might have protected his head sufficiently to prevent the brain injury that eventually killed him. This incident should have been avoidable and the deceased should have had training before being put on the truck.

    This expert has more than a decade of experience in the staffing industry. He is certified as both a Personnel Consultant and a Temporary-Staffing Specialist. He previously worked as Senior Branch Manager for a national and worldwide staffing solutions company. He currently serves as Area Manager for a staffing company based in the Midwest that specializes in filling office and industrial positions.

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