The legalization of marijuana in California has led to a new industry. New industries are not immune to workplace accidents. An accident caused by a propane explosion at a company in Santa Cruz caused an employee to be seriously burned.
An employee of the company, Future 2 Labs Health Services, was working in a portable storage unit and was extracting oil from cannabis leaves. Propane was used in the extraction process and a spark caused an explosion. The worker was burned in the accident and was reportedly hospitalized for several days.
The accident resulted in Future 2 Labs receiving a citation for $50,470. The citation was for 10 safety violations, including three which were considered life-threatening. The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) found that the atmosphere of the container had not been sufficiently tested for dangerous and flammable gases and that the levels were high enough that a spark could cause an explosion. In addition to the three citations for life-threatening conditions, Future 2 Labs also received citations for not having an emergency plan or a hazard communication plan and also for failing to report a serious injury.
New industry provides new jobs and that is good for the California economy. However, new industries have an obligation to protect their employees from workplace accidents by doing their due diligence to provide a safe working environment. A person who suffers an injury while on the job may wish to consult with an experienced workers' compensation attorney. A knowledgeable lawyer can review the facts of the case and advise the client as to what legal options are available.