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OSHA fines Ohio employer for safety violations

People who work around heavy industrial equipment are often vulnerable to workplace injuries. In fact, the astonishing rate of industrial worker injuries was one of the primary factors that gave rise to the modern workers' compensation system. Although there has been a lot of progress in worker safety, there is still a lot of room for improvement. One government agency that is tasked with supervising worker safety is the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Recently, OSHA fined an Ohio manufacturer for safety violations that led to an employee's death.

In April, a 31-year-old man in died in a tragic workplace accident while working for an Ohio manufacturing company, which makes high-performance die forgings. The incident leading to his death took place during the course of his daily work activities.

The accident happened while the worker was removing wooden pallets from a shot blast tumbler barrel. A wire rope cable securing the loader bucket broke, causing the bucket to fall and strike the young man in the head. The injuries incurred by the young man were fatal, and, according to OSHA officials, preventable. The company now faces proposed penalties totaling $89,000.

The manufacturer involved in the incident had received numerous citations for repeated safety violations related to accidents in 2006 and 2008, including a damaged control panel and a button stuck in the "on" position on a loader bucket. OSHA also cited the company for unsafe walking surfaces and failing to provide machine guarding.

Under OSHA guidelines, a company is responsible for ensuring that its equipment is operationally safe and that workers are properly trained. Workers should never be required to use faulty equipment and risk their lives to earn a paycheck.

Source:, "OSHA Busts Ohio Manufacturer Following Worker Fatality," Nov. 4, 2011

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