Morgan & Justice Co., LPA
800-948-6200 Toll free 614-258-1133 Columbus 740-385-4496 Logan

OSHA to determine whether safety violation caused worker's death

Employees at recycling facilities face numerous hazards at their places of work. Business owners must protect the health and safety of employees, and many workers die each year because their employers fail to protect them from the working parts of equipment. Such a safety violation might have led to the recent death of an Ohio employee of an Akron-based recycling facility.

Initial reports provided little information about the incident that occurred in the early morning hours of a recent Wednesday. Under unknown circumstances, the working parts of a baling machine trapped a 24-year-old employee. It is not clear how he made contact with the device. Reportedly, he suffered fatal injuries, and his death was pronounced at the accident site.

A report by the recycling company's head office in another state said an investigation is underway. According to a spokesperson for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the federal safety agency will conduct an independent inquiry. Inspectors will interview the company, co-workers and potential witnesses to document the cause of the fatality. They will also scrutinize the employer's compliance with federal safety regulations.

The surviving family members of the deceased worker may pursue claims for monetary relief to help with the expenses that typically follow tragedies of this nature. Regardless of whether a safety violation contributed to his death, they are likely entitled to death benefits from the Ohio workers' compensation insurance system. The benefits generally provide funds to cover a funeral and burial, along with a percentage of the deceased man's average weekly wage to assist with day-to-day living expenses for a specified period following the fatal accident.

Source: powderbulksolids.com, "Worker Trapped in Baler Dies at OH Recycling Facility", Feb. 23, 2017

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