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Workplace accidents: Employer cited for failure to protect worker

Employers in Missouri have responsibilities to protect their workers against on-the-job injuries. Each industry has its own unique range of safety hazards that must be addressed. Failure to attend to known hazards can lead to fatal workplace accidents. Unfortunately, too many workers lose their lives in preventable accidents.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently reported on an investigation into the death of a foundry worker in February. The workplace accident claimed the life of a 57-year-old worker who was doing maintenance inside a machine called a sand corer. Contrary to safety regulations, the machine lacked a device by which the energy could be locked out to prevent unanticipated movement of dangerous parts.

After working for the company for 40 years, this man's life was ended when a 4,000 pound part moved unexpectedly and crushed him to death. OSHA said this was a known danger and following regulations could have prevented this fatality. Company owners must do hazard assessments, install the necessary protective devices and train workers in the use of these devices. Moreover, supervisors must monitor employees to ensure the devices are used for their own protection at all times.

Coping without the love and support of family members whose lives are lost in workplace accidents is typically devastating. Along with the unplanned expenses related to end-of-life arrangements comes the sudden loss of income. Fortunately, financial assistance is available through the Missouri workers' compensation insurance death benefits program. Dependents of deceased workers may pursue such claims for coverage of specific financial responsibilities.

Source: workerscompensation.com, "Maintenance Technician Crushed Fatally When 4,000 Pound Machine Part Unintentionally Moves During Repairs at MO Foundry", Aug. 4, 2016

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