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Owner of New Jersey warehouse charged in worker's electrocution

New Jersey police have charged the owner of a South Brunswick warehouse with obstructing an investigation after he allegedly lied about the circumstances of an employee's electrocution. Investigators claim the owner's actions not only endangered his employees, but also the emergency crews who responded to the accident.

South Brunswick police responded to a 911 call from a distribution warehouse on Thatcher Road at approximately 4:14 p.m. on Sept. 11. They reportedly found a 48-year-old man with no pulse on the floor beside a conveyor belt; officers performed CPR and used a defibrillator to revive him. The injured man was then transported by air to St. Barnabas Medical Center where he remained hospitalized for several days.

The owner told first responders that the worker had suffered a heart attack and there was no electricity running to the conveyor belt. However, an investigation determined the man had actually been electrocuted by the conveyor belt, which was improperly powered with extension cords. The power was never cut to the device, even as rescuers worked beside it to save the victim.

The owner, who lives in Thornhill, Canada, has been charged with giving false information to the authorities. Fire officials have also fined his company $52,000 for various safety violations.

A safe work environment requires the full cooperation of employers. Anyone who has been the victim of a serious workplace accident may apply for benefits through workers' compensation. While proof of negligence is not needed in such a situation, an attorney may still be able to ensure that an injured worker receives maximum benefits.

Source: South Brunswick Patch, "South Brunswick Warehouse Owner Charged With Obstruction After Electrocution Of Worker", Carly Kilroy, Oct. 6, 2014

Source: NJ.com, "South Brunswick warehouse owner charged after worker is electrocuted", Anthony G. Attrino, October 06, 2014

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