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Cal/OSHA Investigating Workplace Safety after Fatal Fall

Recently, a 31-year-old woman died after falling 28 feet at the FreeDrop USA attraction during the San Bernardino County Fair.   The "FreeDrop USA" attraction involves people jumping off a platform nearly 40-feet high and then landing onto a giant inflatable bag.

According to ABC News Sabrina Gordon was a 10-year Navy veteran who suffered injuries in the fall and later died.  Witnesses suspect that she may have hit her head after jumping.The fall has prompted at least two separate investigations.  The first will be conducted by the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department to determine whether any criminal charges will be filed.   A second will be conducted by Cal/OSHA who will be looking into workplace safety at the attraction.

Cal/OSHA oversees the safety at nearly all workplaces in California, including amusement rides and attractions.  Further, although Cal/OSHA has the authority to inspect all work places, it is not feasible to conduct a thorough investigation into all job locations without reason.  However, this incident has highlighted the fact that workers may be at risk and has prompted the review.  Rather than evaluating the dangers facing jumpers, the investigation will look into whether the employees of the attraction are being exposed to any unreasonable hazards.  Depending on the results of the investigation, Cal/OSHA may issue notices of violations, citations and civil or criminal penalties. 

Cal/OSHA investigations are separate from any claim for civil damages or workers compensation benefit that may arise as the result of a workplace accident.  However, if you are injured as the result of an OSHA violation, that violation can help you prove elements of a personal injury case or lead to an increase in benefits in a California workers' compensation claim. 

Because of all of the competing interests and complexities involved when work place accidents occur, it's important to seek the advice of an experienced California personal injury lawyer if you have sustained an on the job injury.

For more information, please contact the dedicated Oakland personal injury lawyers at Butler Viadro, LLP for an immediate consultation. 

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