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OSHA says worker's death caused by serious safety violation

Following a proposed fine of almost $34,000 to an Ohio construction company, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently fined a mechanical services company more than $12,600 after the December death of an employee. Investigators determined the fatality resulted from a safety violation. Authorities graded the violation as serious.

On Dec. 1, an employee of the Toledo company returned to the machine shop at approximately 5 p.m. to check on a co-worker who continued working on his own when other workers left. He was shocked to find his 49-year-old colleague dead on top of the lathe. No one was around to witness the incident, and OSHA investigators had to use security footage to document what caused the tragic death.

What they discovered was that the machine has interlock doors that must be closed while the lathe spins. However, surveillance footage showed that these doors were open, and inspectors determined that they had been disabled. This exposed the worker to the spinning lathe and caused him to become entangled in it.

This safety violation was just one of many others that have claimed the lives of Ohio workers in preventable accidents. The victim's family members will be entitled to seek recovery of the end-of-life expenses. That, along with a wage-replacement package typically forms part of the death benefits offered by the workers' compensation insurance program. The surviving family members -- who are reported to be from a different state -- may find the assistance of an experienced workers' comp attorney helpful.

Source: toledoblade.com, "Toledo firm fined $12,675 in fatal machine-shop accident", Tyrel Linkhorn, May 30, 2017

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