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Fatality at Ohio Plant Sparks Federal Inspection


A tragic fatality at a Barberton, Ohio, optical and specialty material manufacturer's plant sparked a federal safety inspection. The death was of an employee who got trapped in a spindle winder that was unprotected and inflicted fatal injuries. Inspections subsequently carried out by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration resulted in the employer, PPG Industries, being cited with both willful and serious violations of required safety rules.

Workplace injuries and deaths can be the basis of claims for workers' compensation for accident victims and their families. Employers often fight such claims or attempt to get away without paying the full measure of compensation benefits rightfully due. Having an experienced workers' compensation attorney in your corner can fight off such employer recalcitrance and ensure that your claim is presented in the proper form and within stated time deadlines.

In this case, the safety inspection resulted in one citation for a willful violation of federal safety standards based on the unacceptable failure to have adequate machine guards in the apparatus that took the employee's life and to make sure that it was deenergized while employees were in a position of danger, such as when performing maintenance and servicing of the equipment. Willful violations are those classified as those committed intentionally, or with indifference to or in knowing or voluntary disregard for worker health or safety. Inspectors also cited the employer for two serious violations.

They found that the company failed to carry out timely inspections of employees on proper lockout/tagout procedures. The federal agency has proposed fines of $69,000 for the cited violations. Compensation for injured employees is not covered by agency procedures, however, and injured employees or their surviving families must themselves file their compensation claims with the aid of their attorney.

Source: United States Department of Labor, "PPG Industries cited by US Department of Labor's OSHA after fatality at manufacturing plan" Scott Allen and Rhonda Burke, Jan. 22, 2014