Morgan & Justice Co., LPA
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Columbus Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Safety violation led to fatal workplace accident in auto factory

Employees in the automotive manufacturing industry in Columbus, Ohio and elsewhere are typically exposed to multiple occupational safety hazards. If their employers disregard safety regulations, the workers' lives could be on the line. The slightest safety violation could result in a fatal workplace accident.

The importance of compliance with safety regulations was underscored by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration when the agency recently cited an auto manufacturer in a neighboring state after an investigation into the death of a worker. Reportedly, the incident occurred in October when a 44-year-old employee suffered fatal injuries when she came into contact with the moving parts of a machine. IOSHA cited the company with $224,000 for five violations of safety regulations.

Safety violation: Many Ohio workers exposed to safety hazards

Some employees in Ohio have to endure unsafe work environments every day. Despite the fact that every safety violation can lead to a penalty, some employers fail to comply with regulations that require them to protect the health and safety of workers. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration reported that it recently fined four Ohio companies after completion of several investigations.

The Campbell Soup Co. was cited after an employee was sprayed with boiling water when working on a pipe without first draining it. The company also failed to provide the necessary training that would have prevented the incident. Another business that received two citations is a refinery at which inadequate training also led to an injury suffered when a clamp was disconnected on a hose that was under pressure.

A safety violation in tech industry can cause serious injuries

Many people in Ohio, including business owners, have a misconception that workers in the tech industry are not at risk of suffering workplace injuries. However, tech workers face many hazards, and a safety violation can cause long-term health problems. Few people realize that repetitive strain injuries from typing on a keyboard and manipulating a mouse for hours on end are the most frequently filed workers' compensation claims.

Working on a computer all day can cause tension in the hand and wrist muscles and entrap the nerves. This is known as carpal tunnel syndrome -- a painful condition that needs surgery to repair the damage. Other hazards in tech environments include slip and trip risks caused by electric extension cords snaking across the floor of a high-tech office along with randomly placed and out-of-place objects.

Slip-and-fall safety violation can lead to serious injuries

Slip-and-fall accidents can happen in any workplace in Ohio, including industrial facilities. Employees and supervisors will likely all be aware of the circumstances that can cause falls, and they will also know that the failure to address such a hazard is a safety violation. These can include spills on the floor, electric extension cords, out-of-place objects, folded floor mats and more.

While falls to a lower level make up a significant percentage of serious workplace injuries every year, the danger of falls on the same level might not receive enough attention. The type of fall will often determine the severity of the injuries that could result. A trip-and-fall is caused when a worker encounters an unexpected foreign object in his or her path such as an electric power cord. An uneven walking surface can cause a stump-and-fall accident, and when there is a hole or unexpected dip in the floor or walkway, a worker can suffer a step-and-fall accident.

Amputation injury risks prevalent in automotive body shops

Ohio employees in the automotive body shop industry face various hazards in their workplaces every day. They are typically exposed to the dangers of working with dangerous chemicals such as primers, paints, fillers and polishes, which could damage their eyes, skin and respiratory tracts. Furthermore, they often work with mechanical equipment and moving machine parts, like sprockets and gears, that can cut and crush hands and cause severed digits and other amputation injuries.

Placing constant strain on one body part by repetition such as the stress put on the wrist with continuous use of a manual screwdriver can cause repetitive motion disorders. These can include carpal tunnel syndrome, bursitis, tendinitis and more. Frequent heavy lifting in an auto body shop is not uncommon, and without learning proper lifting techniques, workers can suffer back injuries and muscle sprains.

Permanent impairment may be avoided by ergonomic changes

The Bureau of Labor Statistics says injuries caused by ergonomic problems in workplaces such as factories, stores and offices cost businesses more and more each year. Poor workplace design affects employee health and reduces productivity and efficiency. Records show that workers' compensation costs related to nonfatal injuries nationwide, including in Ohio, are an estimated total of $60 billion -- often involving permanent impairment for workers.

Statistics show that one in three occupational injuries or diseases every year is a musculoskeletal disorder and that injuries caused by ergonomic-related issues produce more days off work than any other types of injuries. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health says poor office design causes 20 percent of missed work days nationwide. The agency says ergonomic changes can reduce the cost of risk and injury while boosting productivity and the bottom line.

A fall from a ladder may lead to permanent impairment

Construction workers in Ohio face so many life-threatening safety hazards every day that some employees become complacent to those that seem less dangerous. These may include ladders, of which the potential risks are often disregarded. It is said that the height of a ladder fall does not determine the severity of the injuries but rather the objects struck by the falling worker on the way down. Hitting one's head against a hard object can cause brain or spinal cord injuries that could result in permanent impairment.

One such incident occurred in a neighboring state on a recent Tuesday morning. A fire battalion chief reports that a 53-year-old construction worker fell off a ladder. Reportedly, he was only about half-way up the ladder when he fell. However, he landed on the concrete surface of the top floor of a hospital under construction, striking his head against the hard floor.

Safety violation might have led to fatality on construction site

Falling objects on construction sites will always be a danger to which Ohio workers will be exposed. This is one of the hazards that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration covers in the safety regulations for the construction industry. Unfortunately, the slightest safety violation can cause an object to fall, and the consequences may be devastating.

A construction worker lost his life in a construction accident on a recent Wednesday afternoon. According to the Cleveland police, the incident occurred at a construction site on the Cleveland State University campus. Reportedly, a subcontracting pipe fitter was struck by a piece of sheet metal. Emergency crews rushed to the site after receiving a call shortly after 2 p.m.

Possible safety violation might be cause of Ohio worker's death

While most employees in Ohio likely rely on their employers to protect them from harm in the workplace as required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, many business owners are more concerned about profits and production. Sadly, the slightest safety violation could lead to a workplace accident in which lives are lost. Although OSHA typically investigates on-the-job fatalities, the surviving families will be left without income providers, regardless of the outcome of an investigation.

OSHA compliance inspectors initiated an investigation into the death of an employee of a provider of quartz, marble, granite and other stone surfaces in Columbus. According to an incident report, a 55-year-old man was crushed to death at approximately 11 a.m. on a recent Tuesday. Reportedly, the man was working in an area in which a safety pole contained granite slabs.

Chainsaw negligence can lead to permanent impairment

After stormy weather in Ohio, cleaning up will likely involve the use of dangerous equipment to clear away broken tree limbs and branches. Whenever industrial chainsaws, log splitters and other tools are used, the risks of suffering injuries that can cause permanent impairment will be many. For this reason, landscaping and tree care company owners must ensure that all equipment is in mint condition and that operators of these machines are properly trained.

Furthermore, the employer must provide the necessary personal protective equipment for the job. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, tree care workers must be provided with eye protection, a hard hat, appropriate protective gloves and footwear along with leg protection. Depending on the job, respiratory protection and hearing protection may be required.

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Morgan & Justice Co., LPA

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Morgan & Justice Co., LPA
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