Contractor Dies After Falling 30 feet at Local Plant

A man working on a construction project at the coastal Hyperion wastewater treatment plant near Playa del Rey was killed last Tuesday after 30-foot fall. Los Angeles city firefighters were called to the plant and found the worker dead at the scene.

The Hyperion Treatment Plant, Playa del Rey, CA

The man, who was not an employee, was erecting a 30-foot wall panel at the plant according to the state Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA).

The man’s employer is a Stanton-based general contracting firm which has been working at the plant to construct a gas compressor facility that will replace equipment built in the 1950s. The incident is believed to be the plant’s first construction-related fatality since the plant was first modernized in the 1950s.

This incident is a strong reminder of the importance of carrying workers’ compensation insurance. Even more notably, the importance of making sure any subcontractors you have working for you carry workers’ compensation insurance. No matter if you’re a professional consultant, or a large construction company, you MUST be certain any independent contractors you hire carry workers compensation insurance and show you proof with a certificate of insurance before working any jobs for you. Otherwise, you as the employer are liable for any work related injuries or loss.

Have them furnish you with evidence of coverage with a Certificate of Insurance. Mark their policy expiration down on your calendar to remind yourself to request a renewal Certificate before their policy expires. (While you’re at it, make sure their general liability coverage is also listed on the Certificate and that you’re named as an Additional Insured)

Your workers’ compensation insurance carrier will want to see copies of your independent contractor’s workers’ compensation certificates. Without the certificates, your carrier may consider the independent contractors your employee and charge you an additional workers’ compensation premium at the time of audit.

A good rule of thumb is to have ALL your workers, whether employees or independent contractors, covered by workers’ compensation insurance. Numerous court cases have ruled the hiring party is responsible for injuries to independent contractor’s employees when the independent contractor did not have their own workers’ compensation insurance.


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About Jimmy Kinmartin - Business Insurance & Risk Management

Jimmy is a California licensed Property & Casualty AND Accident & Health insurance agent working at the Olson Duncan Insurance brokerage based in Torrance and Irvine, CA. He grew up in Fullerton, CA and graduated from Servite High School in Anaheim and Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles and currently lives in Tustin, CA. Have questions? Just ask! Or, follow Jim on Twitter at @JimKinmartin

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