In 1970, Congress passed the Occupational Safety and Health Act requiring employers to keep the workplace free from known hazards that could lead to serious injuries or death. The agency born out of the law, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, devised rules and regulations that provide minimum standards for employers that are designed to meet that goal. Even so, that does not mean that every employer across the country, including some here in Arizona, will follow those rules and regulations, which could leave workers vulnerable to an industrial accident.
For example, a man working at a grain handling facility stepped into a steel grain bin and into an open auger well. His left leg was torn off in the incident. An OSHA representative from the area where the accident occurred said that the man never should have suffered such a life-altering injury. The woman goes on to say that following OSHA’s guidelines and regulations could have prevented the harm done to this man.
As often occurs when workplace injuries happen, OSHA will be conducting an investigation to determine why the man was able to step into the auger while it was running. Safety standards that the company should be following would not have allowed this to happen. If the Kansas company is found to have violated any of the agency’s safety rules and regulations, an appropriate course of action will be recommended.
In the meantime, the life of the worker involved in this industrial accident will never be the same. Fortunately, like a worker here in Arizona, he is entitled to workers’ compensation benefits to help with his medical care, lost wages and possibly other financial losses. The process can be complex and frustrating, however, and seeking the advice and assistance of counsel would be beneficial. Injured workers should have the freedom to focus on their recovery instead of adding more stress to their lives by attempting to navigate the system alone.
Source: gbtribune.com, “OSHA investigating worker’s amputation injury at Ellsworth”, Sept. 20, 2016