Pennsylvania workers know that following safety precautions in the workplace is essential. A 28-year-old man in a Massachusetts facility was never trained in procedures that might have saved his life. The company had been cited by federal safety inspectors for not following safety protocol. The young man died while trying to clean a hummus mixing machine when he became entangled in blades that crushed his head and arms.
Other workers turned off the power to the machine and disengaged him, but he died from the injuries. He had worked at the job for six months and had never been trained in a procedure called ‘lock out/tag out” although the company had been told by federal inspectors that it needed to do that.
Two years prior to the worker’s death, the company had been fined by federal officials for ignoring safety protocol at another plant. The company’s own consultant warned it that a serious breach of worker safety existed, and not training workers to cut electric power to equipment before cleaning it was ensuring that a death would occur. No plan was put into place after the warnings. After the man’s death, the plant was cited for multiple safety infractions and fined $540,000 by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Many companies see this as a business cost, according to a workers’ advocacy group.
OSHA works to investigate accidents and to help prevent them through a vigorous inspection system. When they do happen, workers’ compensation may provide death benefits to the family of someone killed in the workplace. An attorney experienced in workers’ compensation cases may assist in filing their claim and assuring that the family receives all the benefits to which they are entitled.
Source: ProPublica, “Hummus Maker Warned of ‘Extreme Safety Risk’ Before Temp Worker’s Death“, Megan Woolhouse and Michael Grabell, May 21, 2014