For the third time in two weeks, I am reporting on a devastating work-related accident. This time it was a Tuesday night and a man was standing at his station at an aluminum press. It was his job to produce parts for other companies with the use of custom dies. At approximately 8:30 p.m., things took a turn for the worse. His arm was somehow caught in the press as it came down with 1,600 tons of pressure.
Though it took just minutes for the ambulance to arrive, it was not fast enough. The crushing pressure was too much. The injury claimed the life of the 49-year-old employee. As the family deals with the blow that they were dealt as their loved one was pronounced dead, investigators will be hard at work. Details have not been released yet regarding the circumstances of the accident, but plant operators and operations will be under close watch for some time until it is determined whether or not the company could have done anything differently, which might have prevented the loss of life. Citations will be doled out by OSHA if it is determined that the company was negligent in any way. It will also be the right of the family to consult a personal injury attorney and file a lawsuit if it is suspected that the business is responsible.
This is not a first offense for the aluminum press company. They have received two serious citations in less than ten years’ time. Both offenses had to do with failing to guard employees from potentially fatal hazards.
As mentioned in a previous post, shift work might be a part of the problem as well. Long work hours and unusual schedules have a proven correlation with health and safety issues. Injuries on the job are more than 15 percent more likely on a second shift, and nearly 30 percent higher on third shifts, as compared to normal working day hours. This risk increases with each consecutive night worked.