When a Missouri company has its own safety policies in place to protect workers from workplace injuries, it is certainly admirable. However, it is not so admirable if an employee suffers serious injuries in a workplace accident because the company fails to follow those policies. This is what Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspectors found when they investigated an incident in which a worker suffered third-degree burn wounds.
The incident happened in July at a glass factory in Flat River where glass containers for the perfumery and pharmaceutical industries are manufactured. Investigators determined that the company failed to provide a 34-year-old worker with the necessary fire-retardant clothing that would protect him from suffering burn injuries. The man was reportedly operating a machine on the bottle-making line in an area in which the floor was covered with an oily residue from a leaking machine. When some of the molten glass bottles fell onto the floor, the residue ignited.
The flames quickly spread to the worker’s pants and caused serious burn injuries to his legs and his hands. OSHA issued the company with citations for seven safety violations of which one was classified as willful. The company was ordered to develop safe employee response procedures for instances in which the production line of the hot bottles gets jammed. Other violations included the failure to provide safety training related to the proper use of personal protective equipment and fire extinguishers, and penalties of $122,000 were proposed.
The Missouri worker who was involved in this workplace accident is reportedly still recuperating and may be absent from work for a long time. No work typically means no wages, and, with mounting medical bills, his family may be facing several financial stumbling blocks. This burden may be eased by pursuing workers’ compensation benefits that will cover medical and other expenses related to the injuries along with a percentage of lost wages as a financial package.
Source: workerscompensation.com, “Worker Suffers 3rd-Degree Burns in Glass Factory Fire“, Oct. 14, 2015