While "Ice Bucket Challenge" videos were done for a good cause but some of those resulted in injury and even death because proper precautions weren't taken.
Online PR News – 30-January-2015 – McHenry, Illonois – This past summer, ALS "Ice Bucket Challenge" videos became a viral sensation. While they were done for a good cause and in good fun, some of these elaborate videos resulted in serious injury and even death because proper safety precautions weren't taken. Randall Taradash, a workers' compensation attorney in McHenry, says that these accidents show why safety is important in the workplace, even during non-work events.
The most serious of the Ice Bucket Challenge accidents occurred on Auguest 21 and involved a fire department in Campbellsville, Kentucky, a small suburb outside Louisville. The Campbellsville Fire Department was participating in a large-scale challenge at Campbellsville University. The plan was for firefighters to spray cold water out of a hose on a crane down onto students below.
However, the challenge went awry when the crane accidentally hit an overhead power line. Two firefighters were electrocuted and one of them later died from his injuries. The state workers safety board fined the department $25,000 for six violations, including the fact that the firefighters weren't wearing necessary safety gear to prevent electrocution.
Randall Taradash, a McHenry workers' compensation attorney, said that many workplace injuries actually happen when employees aren't working. "Companies and workers are both guilty of thinking that safety protocols don't apply on breaks or during fun activities," he said. "However, safety protocols are needed whenever a potential hazard exists."
Mr. Taradash added that there's a financial incentive for companies to take such precautions. "Workers' compensation usually applies to any workplace injury, regardless of whether the employee is at work or on break," Mr. Taradash said. "By making safety a constant priority, employers can involve costly claims and keep their insurance premiums low."