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Carnival Company Fined After Fatal Work Accident that Killed Georgia Employee

Because a worker fell off of a Ferris wheel, a Georgia company is facing fines of more than $27,000, according to FOX 8.

The carnival accident happened back in May at the Greensboro carnival. According to the Greensboro News & Record, Event Coordinators Inc., which is located in Augusta, has been issued a dozen citations from the North Carolina Department of Labor. The company was also issued one non-serious violation for violating the Occupational Safety and Health Act of North Carolina. Each fine ranges between $900 and $3,500. The company has 15 days to either appeal the citations or to pay the fines.
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Companies are required to provide safe equipment and material for customers, but in doing so its required to keep workers safe and to prevent work accidents in Georgia and elsewhere. Federal law requires that all of the proper safety precautions are taken to avoid such accidents. If an injury results from a work hazard, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration will step in to investigate the scene. If hazards were failed to be addressed, companies and employers can face a number of serious violations, citations and fines.

Our Atlanta workers compensation lawyers report that the man who was killed after falling off of this Ferris wheel at the Greensboro Youth Council’s yearly carnival was a 42-year-old employee from Columbus, Georgia. The carnival was held this year at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex. Carnival workers are used to working under time restrictions, but must be cautious and careful when assembling and taking down equipment as this is the time when the most accidents occur.

The man was killed as he was taking apart the Ferris wheel as the carnival was packing up. A second worker was injured during the incident. According to local officials, one of the fittings on the wheel’s wire cable that is used to disassemble the ride failed.

Reports indicate that the Columbus worker fell more than 40 feet to the paved ground after a portion of the wheel came free and hit a nearby walkway. The other worker who was injured in the incident reportedly fell nearly 30 feet after the loose part struck an elevated basket on the wheel.

“The penalties are in no way designed to make up for loss of life,” said a spokesman for the Labor Department, Neal O’Briant, Labor Department Spokesman. He reports that the money collected from the fines will be given to the Civil Penalty and Forfeiture Fund, which provides funds to public schools in the area.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employees and representatives have the legal right to file a complaint and request that OSHA look into complaints and conduct an inspection of the work site. A complaint may be filed if an employee feels that there is a serious hazard that an employer may be neglecting to recognize or address. Under the Act, the name of the person who filed the complaint is not released to help protect their identity from employers and to encourage more people to step up and address these concerns.

Employees should not fear voicing concerns regarding a work-related hazard. It is against federal law for an employer to take any retaliating action again an employee who speaks out. Employers are prohibited from demoting, transferring, firing or discriminating against any employees who files a complaint.

Visit OSHA’s complaint web page to fill out a form regarding a work-related hazard that you’ve witnessed. Your concern can help to prevent an injury or to save a life.

If you or someone you love has experienced a serious injury at work in the Atlanta area and want to discuss your rights, contact the experienced Atlanta workers’ compensation attorneys at J. Franklin Burns. Call 404-303-7770 to make a free appointment to discuss your claim.

More Blog Entries:

Young Workers Always at Increased Risk of Atlanta Work Accidents, Georgia Workers Compensation Attorney Blog, August 25, 2011

Company Pays Employee Nearly $200,000 after Failing to Protect Worker from Georgia Work Injury, Georgia Workers Compensation Attorney Blog, July 28, 2011