Injury, paralysis and temporary disability are all fairly common terms when discussing workers comp. People get injured when they perform tasks that require a great deal of physical effort and involve high risk situations. Though we are upset when we initially here about it, we move on with our lives perhaps under the assumption that the life of the injured will improve in time. But time cannot heal all wounds. Some wounds run to deep, as is likely the case for the family of a 32-year-old employee, who worked for a Florida manufacturing company, and who died in August of last year.
Wire Mesh Sales L.L.C. stands accused of 35 alleged violations of federal workplace safety regulations according to an inspector from the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration. These charges will result in $700,000 in damages and the charges include; wilful safety violations, failures to address tripping, electrical hazards and unsanitary conditions in the factory’s restrooms. OSHA requires large machinery to have functioning fail-safe mechanisms and lockout or tag-out protocols on hazardous power sources for the machinery. Wire Mesh Sales knowingly disregarded these protocols.
The death of the 32 year old machine helper could have been prevented had a fail-safe mechanism, that normally acts as a kill switch for the entire machine, not been disengaged. Had it been functioning at the time that the employee ventured into the wire-threading machine the employee would likely be alive and this article (along with many others) would never have been written.
The U.S. Secretary of Labor, Thomas E. Perez, commented on the case stating that, “This was a preventable and senseless tragedy. When employers are serious about safety, everyone benefits. Wire Mesh LLC failed to properly implement OSHA safety regulations, and a worker paid the ultimate price.”
Manufacturing businesses today are in desperate competition with each other because whoever can produce more for less ultimately wins. And winning involves keeping manufacturing jobs in America, employees being able to feed their families and also, from time to time, there is potential for growth. Some businesses may take short cuts in order to out-produce their peers but the case of Wire Mesh Sales serves as a cautionary tale for those who would jeopardize the lives of their employees in order to improve their bottom line.