Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) investigators have determined that the death of a 32-year-old machine assistant on August 2013 at Wire Mesh Sales LLC in Jacksonville could have been prevented if a vital safety device in a machine where the fatality occurred had not been disabled.
The worker went into the machine to retrieve a fallen metal bar and was struck and killed by a part that feeds wire into the machine’s welding area. OSHA said that a light curtain that would have disabled the machine before the worker entered the danger zone had been disabled. Investigators concluded that the worker would not have been killed if the guard had been working properly.
OSHA cited Wire Mesh Sales LLC for eight willful violations as well as several other repeat, serious or other-than serious violations. The company has been put in OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program, which focuses on companies that have shown a “demonstrated indifference” to the health and safety of its workers.
“This was a preventable and senseless tragedy,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. “Wire Mesh Sales LLC failed to properly implement OSHA safety regulations, and a worker paid the ultimate price.”
Along with eight willful violations, OSHA also issued a total of 22 serious violations against the company. Those violations allege that the factory floor was covered with broken pallets, that there was a serious shock hazard due to a taped electrical outlet, and that a clogged bathroom sink that had not been fixed for months was teeming with maggots.
All in all OSHA tallied 35 workplace violations against the company, which totaled nearly $700,000 in fines.
The workplace wrongful death attorneys at Farah & Farah in Jacksonville believe that companies that violate safety rules, putting their employees at risk of injury, sickness, or death, should be held accountable for their actions. If you have lost a loved one in a work-related accident where an employer has shown negligence, you have a right to seek justice for you and your family.
If you have a question about your legal rights following a workplace accident, call us toll-free at (800) 533-3555 to set up a free review of your case.