CWS 3.0: January 9, 2013

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Company Blames Temp for Fatal Burns

A household and grooming products manufacturer cited by OSHA for 14 alleged violations after a contingent worker suffered fatal burns denies any wrongdoing, Chicago Public Media's WBEZ reports.

According to the report, Bedford Park, Ill.-based Raani Corp. says Carlos Centeno, 50, of Chicago, “failed to take ‘proper precautions’ in its factory and calls his conduct ‘the sole proximate cause of the injuries,’” in its response to a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Centano’s family. Centeno was burned when citric acid solution erupted out of a 500-gallon tank as he was cleaning it. He died three weeks later.

Raani is contesting the OSHA citations, according to WBEZ.

“Employers that use temporary staffing firm employees may be insulated from liability for personal injury under state worker’s compensation laws, but federal OSHA regulators are not constrained from issuing fines, simply because an injured worker is employed by a staffing firm,” says Charles Palmer, an attorney with employment law firm Michael Best & Friedrich LLC. “OSHA may cite virtually any employer involved in an accident under its multi-employer worksite policy, in which OSHA will issue penalties to a company because it: (1) created the hazard, (2) controlled the work place, (3) exposed workers to a hazard, or (4) was responsible for correcting hazards under a contract or by other arrangement. Therefore, the host employer can, and often will, be cited by OSHA for severe or fatal injuries to temporary staffing firm employees.” 

Read the full article here.

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