Morgan & Justice Co., LPA
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Malfunctioning equipment may cause permanent impairment

Ohio employees in the manufacturing industry are sometimes exposed to dangerous situations, and they typically rely on their employers to provide safe work environments in which known safety hazards are addressed. Industrial workers who perform their duties on unguarded machinery could be at risk of suffering permanent impairment. The office of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration in Cincinnati is currently looking into a workplace accident that caused serious injuries to two workers.

Authorities reported that the fire department was called to the scene of an industrial accident early on a recent Tuesday morning. The address was that of a plant that manufactures automobile carpeting. When the alarm was raised, the caller stated that two workers were trapped in the working parts of a machine. However, when the fire crews arrived at the scene, the workers were no longer trapped.

The emergency workers found one male and one female worker with severe injuries to their arms that were apparently caused by an unprotected machine. The workers said they were using a piece of plywood to push a template into the machine when it reportedly malfunctioned. Both arms of each worker became stuck in the activated machine. They suffered multiple fractures and severe crushing in their arms and hands, and they were rushed to a hospital for treatment.

An OSHA investigation will likely determine whether the machine had safety guards and a lockout/tagout device installed and whether the workers were provided with personal protective equipment. Safety violations may result in citations issued to the Ohio company, but that will not help the injured victims to cope with injuries that may cause permanent impairment. However, financial recovery may be obtained to cover medical expenses and lost income by pursuing claims for workers' compensation benefits. If work accidents result in long-term health conditions, additional compensation may be awarded.

Source: fox19.com, "Fire chief: 2 employees suffer serious arm injuries in workplace", Jennifer Baker, Nov. 17, 2015

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