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OSHA finds fatal work injury to roller mill worker was avoidable

Pennsylvania employers have a duty to ensure that their workers are not exposed to known safety hazards. The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration prescribes strict safety regulations for all industries. Unfortunately, according to OSHA, there are certain safety violations that bring about more citations than any others. These high-risk violations involve the failure of company owners to protect workers against moving machine parts, and they may lead to multiple cases of work injury, and even fatalities.

In Aug. of last year, a 45-year-old father and husband lost his life while working on a rolling mill, of which the moving parts were unprotected. The worker apparently got pulled in by the spinning shaft of a machine, causing him to be crushed to death. Upon completion of the investigation, OSHA stated that the worker's death had been avoidable, had the employer ensured that safety regulations were followed.

The Ohio company, which has a facility in Reading, Pennsylvania, was cited for several violations. The citations included the failure to provide protection against moving and rotating machine parts, sprockets and chains. In addition, OSHA found that the guarding of the mechanical equipment was inadequate and that there was no lockout system in place. The company also failed to train workers in the operation of effective guarding and lockout systems.

In addition to having to adjust to life without a loved one who suffered a fatal work injury, surviving families will also have to face many financial challenges. Fortunately, Pennsylvania workers are typically covered by workers' compensation, and surviving family members may be eligible for death benefits. Such benefits commonly cover funeral and burial expenses, along with a financial package for the spouse and any dependents.

Source:, "OSHA Cites Cleveland Plant Following Machine Operator's Death", Jan. 8, 2015

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