The Occupational Safety and Health Administration conducts inspections of facilities in a variety of industries throughout the year. Unfortunately, some of them are prompted by workplace accidents in which an innocent life was lost. Each year, too large a number of workers across the country, perhaps including some here in Maryland, die before a company is forced to take the safety of its workers seriously.
For instance, OSHA recently completed an investigation into the death of a worker in a plastics company last year. OSHA found that the company willfully violated a regulation requiring machine guards on its equipment to prevent injuries to workers. Investigators also found that the company failed to implement proper shut down and lock out/tag out procedures.
The 45-year-old victim got pulled into the rollers of a machine when she bent over to cut some plastic. Emergency responders were unable to save her life. Even though the company faces numerous OSHA violations and potential fines reaching nearly $200,000, nothing can change the fact that her life has come to a tragic end. Her husband filed a lawsuit against the Alabama company in the aftermath of this tragedy, which many agree was entirely preventable.
OSHA may not get there in time to prevent many deadly workplace accidents, but it may help prevent future ones. Regardless, families continue to lose loved ones due to hazardous work conditions even if an employer and employees do everything right. When faced with this type of tragedy, Maryland families may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits to help with the financial aspects of their losses. During an already difficult time, it may be beneficial to enlist the aid of an experienced attorney to get through the process of receiving those much needed benefits.
Source: plasticsnews.com, “OSHA fines Ala. plastics firm $200,000 over ‘preventable’ workplace death“, Steve Toloken, Feb. 21, 2018