On behalf of Castrodale Law, LLC posted in blog on Friday, March 16, 2018.
Workers of all kinds have legal rights while on the job, including the right to safety. As a result, businesses need to make sure that workers have the knowledge to handle a variety of situations in the workplace. If workers don’t have proper safety training, they are likely to make mistakes and become seriously hurt.
Unfortunately, such may have been the case for employees at Ashland-based company Liqui-Box. The business, which produces plastic packaging, might now owe a fine of $155,208 due to an OSHA citation.
Accident causes amputation
In 2016, an employee was working with a blow molding press. The worker reached into the machine to grab something inside, but the guard door was open. The press began to crush his thumb, which eventually led to an amputation. After the event, OSHA fined Liqui-Box for over $40,000. However, the company reached a settlement of nearly half that amount.
This new OSHA citation is the result of a similar recent accident. A bag-sealing machine was stuck, so a worker attempted to clear the jam without properly shutting it down first. Sadly, the worker’s thumb was also caught during the process. Just like the other employee, this worker had to amputate the thumb. Liqui-Box has until March 21 to respond to the citation for this incident.
Repeated accidents are a concern
OSHA has reason to be worried about these events. Although it’s possible that freak accidents occur on the job, these injuries may have been preventable.
The reasons for these accidents are alike; neither of the employees knew the proper safety protocol for using the machines. OSHA claims that Liqui-Box did not provide enough training on machinery, which would have spared these two employees from harm. In order to keep a close eye on the business, OSHA put Liqui-Box in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program.
Just because a worker injures themselves as a result of their own actions doesn’t mean they need to accept it. In some cases, the employer might not have done everything they can to keep workers safe. Regardless of the nature of the accident, employers need to follow OSHA’s reporting process and compensate hurt workers after a tragedy occurs.