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It is unclear whether safety violation caused employee's death

The recycling industry has proved to pose many safety hazards, judging by the number of catastrophic injuries and even deaths that occur at recycling plants nationwide. An Ohio worker died in a workplace accident at a recycling plant on Aug. 3. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the accident to determine whether a safety violation was responsible for this fatality.

According to authorities, the incident occurred at a facility where high-density polyethylene is recycled for the production of drainage tiles and containers for use by nurseries. Initial reports revealed that a worker died when he was struck in the head while operating a machine. One of the company's safety officials said she was informed that an exploding piece of equipment caused the fatal injury.

Police who responded to the scene photographed the area around the grinding machine that the worker was operating when the incident happened. Although investigators will determine the circumstances, the police photographs show that an explosion could have occurred. It shows some large metal pieces and the door of the grinder lying on the floor, one of which could have caused the fatal blow.

At the conclusion of the OSHA investigation, it may be clear whether this incident involved a safety violation. Nevertheless, when such tragedies occur, surviving family members may proceed with pursuing financial relief to assist with the end-of-life expenses and lost income. After any workplace death, the Ohio workers' compensation insurance benefits are available, regardless of OSHA's findings of who may have been at fault.

Source:, "OSHA investigating fatality at Ohio recycling facility", Jim Johnson, Aug. 8, 2017

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