A workplace injury can happen to any North Carolina worker. Although each injury may be entirely different, there is always one thing that may be beneficial to have in common — finding the cause. So many workplace injuries could be prevented with proper safety procedures followed, but many employers seemingly fail to do so as a result of monetary pressures or time restraints. A workplace injury that may have been prevented recently occurred in another state, and it may leave the families with confusion as to why proper procedures were not followed by the victim’s employer.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration sets certain guidelines for employers nationwide in an attempt to keep every worker as safe as can be on the job. When proper procedures are not followed, companies may receive fines for such transgressions. A hummus plant was assessed one of these fines just two years before the accident occurred. It was fined for having extreme safety risks within the workplace.
Workers were apparently not trained to know how to cut the necessary power sources prior to cleaning the machinery they were going to be working on. The documents pertaining to the fine stated that this lack of training placed workers in imminent danger of a workplace fatality. Unfortunately, that day arrived. A worker was recently killed after being caught in the machines he was attempting to clean.
The company is now being ordered to pay a $540,000 fine in regard to the employee’s death. Although the company was fined twice for the same violation, a spokesperson indicated that the company may not be able to pay for proper training of the employees. The families of the deceased may be just as confused with this as any North Carolina family would be, and they may want something done about their loved one’s death. They are likely eligible to receive death benefits through the workers’ compensation insurance program, and may wish to seek advice about what legal steps may be appropriate as a result of the tragedy. Workers’ compensation benefits may provide them with the finances they need to cover the unexpected expenses as a result this fatal workplace injury.
Source: The Boston Globe, “In worker’s death, hummus maker ‘willfully ignored’ safety stands, OSHA says“, Megan Woolhouse and Michael Grabell, May 22, 2014