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Preventable industrial accident claims life of 19-year-old worker

Workers in the wood manufacturing industry face unique safety hazards on a daily basis. This is also true for the employees of a company in Pierce City at which wood is processed by using different machines and equipment — each presenting specific dangers. Employers must comply with the safety regulations as prescribed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Non-compliance might have led to the death of a worker in an industrial accident at this Missouri facility.

An incident report notes that a 19-year-old worker was operating a machine that is used to debark wood. Under circumstances yet to be determined, a large piece of wood or a log struck the man in the head. Unfortunately, no one witnessed the accident, so details are vague. The young worker did not survive the accident. An OSHA investigation is said to be underway.

An OSHA area director already said it was clear that the accident could have been prevented. Investigators will determine what the operating procedures involved, but it was reported that the required safety guards and lockout/tagout devices were absent on the machine that caused the worker’s death. OSHA also said that the incident might have never occurred if employees had received proper training.

The surviving family members of this young man will naturally be devastated by their loss. While no amount of money can bring their loved one back, the financial assistance that is available through the Missouri workers’ compensation insurance program may provide some relief. Along with compensation to cover the costs of a funeral and burial, a wage replacement package will also be awarded to the covered dependents of a victim of a fatal industrial accident.

Source: ky3.com, “OSHA: Pierce City man’s workplace death ‘preventable’“, James C. Holmes, July 21, 2016