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While the working conditions throughout the American workforce have greatly improved since the federal government first created the Occupation Health and Safety Administration, many workers continue to work in dangerous professions. In fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were more than 4,500 workers killed on the job in the U.S. in 2011, with industrial and construction accidents continuing to be the most prevalent

According to a recent news report, a 21-year-old man from Sonoma County, California was recently killed in a fatal workplace accident while working for Thermalsun Glass Products. The employee was allegedly using a cart at the production plant to move multiple large sheets of glass when the cart tipped over and the load of glass toppled onto him. According to a co-worker at Thermalsun Glass, each pane of glass weighed more than 100 pounds.

The 21-year-old worker was crushed to death from the weight of the glass. According to one of the deceased's co-workers, the young man appeared to freeze when the glass began to tip towards him. He had reportedly only been with the glass company for four weeks when he was killed. While Thermalsun Glass Production has not received any safety violations, California state workplace safety regulators are currently investigation the fatal accident.

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It is a situation that no one would ever want to face; yet, it is also a situation that sounds familiar now. The ideas of sudden acceleration or faulty brakes might bring to mind the years-long cases against Toyota. The company's legal issues might not be over, as a California family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit related to the car manufacturer.

Early last month, officials searched the Sacramento River and found a Toyota Camry with its deceased driver inside. Further investigation into the matter indicated that the woman inside the car had made an emergency 911 call earlier. The call suggested that it might have been a product liability issue that resulted in the tragic incident.

Authorities uncovered the 911 records in which the victim was telling the dispatcher that she could not stop her vehicle, had crashed into the river and was unable to get out. She never did get out and died in the car. Her surviving family blames the death of their loved one on Toyota. Among the allegations are the following and more:

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Though the fatal explosion at the fertilizer plant in Texas last week isn't directly related to California, everyone around the country must look at the recent incident for safety purposes. Something went extremely wrong for the blast to have taken place.

An investigation continues into the severe explosion, though reports thus far suggest that major lapses in following safety procedure might have led to the boom that has killed at least 14 people so far. Among the victims are firefighters, other emergency responders and unsuspecting civilians.

While authorities try to come to a firm conclusion about what happened, an investigation into the explosion and the plant where it occurred presents a scary and frustrating picture. Within the fertilizer plant there was a significantly excessive amount of a chemical called ammonium nitrate stored. That chemical is so hazardous and poses such a threat to the world that the Department of Homeland Security is in charge of regulating the storage of it.

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Taking commuter trains, such as California's Caltrain rail line, can make life much easier for those who live in suburban areas but work in cities. Trains allow people to travel quickly and free of the vehicular traffic found on highways. However, trains are not immune from accidents, including pedestrian accidents. Such accidents can devastating.

Recently, a Palo Alto pedestrian was struck and killed by a northbound train. The accident happened at a crossing between Palo Alto and Mountain View. The incident, which happened at about 6:50 a.m., caused a 90 minute delay. According to Caltrain, trains were making all stops, but were slowed to 10 miles per hour between stations.

According to the Federal Railroad Administration Office of Safety Analysis, there were 121 highway-rail incidents in California in 2012. Of these, about 29 percent of the incidents involved a fatality.

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There are criminal cases and there are civil cases. When family loses a loved one to a negligent driver they have power to seek justice via a civil lawsuit. It is up to the government if it wants to pursue its own, criminal case against a careless driver.

For a family who lost a mother and sister in a truck accident, they will only see justice done in civil court. They never even saw criminal charges filed against the trucker who is responsible for their loved ones preventable deaths. The money they've won and the message sent in the recent wrongful death verdict is what is left of their family.

In December 2010, the 55-year-old mother and her 28-year-old daughter were legally using a crosswalk when a semi-truck crashed into them and then proceeded to leave the scene of the California crash. Both pedestrians died as a result of the truck accident. The accident, according to the wrongful death case, was the result of the truck driver making an illegal turn when the pedestrians had the right of way.

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John J. Garvey, III
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