Families of employees at a wire and steel manufacturing plant in Ohio have reason to be concerned for the safety of their loved ones. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently completed an investigation into two workplace accidents that caused partial amputation of workers’ fingers. The agency expressed concern over the fact that these life-changing accidents occurred within six months of another worker’s death when he was electrocuted at the plant.
The company was issued 25 citations for safety violations after the most recent OSHA investigation. Following the death of a 42-year-old worker who came into contact with live wires in April, a 44-year-old worker had to adjust a cutting guide while the roll forming machine was in operation in May. His left middle finger was partially amputated when it got caught in the pinch point. Lockout/tagout procedures are required to be in place to prevent such adjustments while machines are active.
In September, a 31-year-old worker also lost part of the middle finger on his left hand after he was exposed to the working parts of a wire cutting shear press. In addition to the amputation hazards, OSHA found unguarded open-sided platforms, the lack of protection against chemical exposure, excessive noise levels and industrial vehicles that were improperly modified. The earlier investigation revealed respiratory hazards along with the electrocution hazards.
An OSHA spokesperson noted that the owner of this Ohio company apparently does not prioritize worker safety. Apart from the high penalties for safety violations, the injured workers and the surviving family of the man who was electrocuted retain the right to pursue claims for workers’ compensation benefits. Victims of workplace accidents may claim compensation for medical expenses and lost income, and if the injury involved an amputation, additional benefits might be applicable. A deceased victim’s surviving dependents have the right to claim death benefits to cover funeral and burial expenses as well as an income package based upon the worker’s last income level.
Source: workerscompensation.com, “Ohio Wire Manufacturer Fined $131K After 2 Workers Suffer Amputations Just Months After Another Employee Was Electrocuted“, Dec. 10, 2015