Fatal, on the job accidents are a horrific reminder that millions of U.S. workers are at risk every single day they go to work. While many people may think of workplace accidents as exceptional events that rarely happen, the reality is that many workers are exposed to potentially deadly conditions every day.
To prevent those conditions from becoming a deadly incident, taking a worker from his or her family forever, it requires constant vigilance and the consistent use of the proper safety equipment and training.
A worker suffered a tragic death at a Wisconsin leather manufacturer when the failure to use the proper safety guards allowed a 1,500-pound steel roller to crush the man as he inspected a bearing on the machine. He suffered severe head and neck injuries, which caused his death.
The company was cited by Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for a willful violation and 19 serious violations. The willful violation was for the failure to prevent the machine from operating unintentionally. Unfortunately, this is one of OHSA’s most used citations, and the failure to properly use guards or lock-out devices to prevent this type of operation leads to thousands of injuries and deaths each year.
They also cited lack of training, which can lead to workers not fully realizing the dangers they face. Lack of safety training may also lead workers to mistakenly believe it is safe to “save time” and skip some safety requirements.
Safety procedures can only protect workers if they are used correctly every time. time and cost savings and preventing slowdowns are never acceptable excuses for failing to follow the proper safety procedures.
OSHA has proposed a fine of $169,495 for this violation, in the hopes of preventing future tragedies. For workers, it is a sad reminder to never take your safety for granted.
Source: OSHA.gov, “Steel roller fatally crushed maintenance worker, safety guards ignored D.R. Diedrich & Co. Ltd. cited for 19 safety violations after OSHA inspection,” OSHA Regional News Release, July 30, 2015