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Illinois company’s safety violations contributed to worker’s death

Written by Ankin Law Office

21-year-old auto manufacturing operator was crushed to death in 2014 because of safety violations at an Illinois supply plant, according to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Every workers’ comp attorney Illinois is familiar with fatal workplace accidents of this sort. An OSHA investigation has shown that the accident was avoidable. The inquiry revealed that the worker’s death could have been prevented with proper attention to machine guarding and sequencing procedures.

Death on the assembly line

On June 10, 2014, a machine operator was on duty at Ventra Belvidere LLC, a plant supplying Chrysler automotive parts and signaling devices. He reached into an active press to realign it after a malfunction. The sensing devices on the equipment had not been properly calibrated, and he was pulled into the press and killed. OSHA has proposed penalties totaling more than $90,000 for the negligence leading to this fatal workplace accident.

Safety violations are common in Illinois

This tragic case is not an isolated incident. Safety violations take place with disturbing regularity in the state of Illinois. According to OSHA records, all of the following violations are commonly encountered:

  • Insufficient fall protection
  • Lapses in scaffolding safety
  • Improper respiratory protection
  • Lockout and tagout violations

A workers comp attorney in Illinois can report many cases of severe or fatal injury linked to these safety violations.

Violations involving fall protection and scaffolding

When employees work in a hazardous environment, personal safety must be the highest priority. Many OSHA citations involve improper fall protection or unsafe scaffolding. Employees must be protected from falls higher than 6 feet, especially when they are working in rough terrain or unlit areas. OSHA statistics show 8,241 fall protection violations during the year 2012. Scaffolding safety violations are responsible for 3,184 additional citations.

Flawed equipment and improper safety procedures

A large number of OSHA citations concern the improper use of safety equipment in the workplace. Personal respirators are an important part of many jobs, protecting workers from toxic fumes and particles. In many cases, these devices are found to be defective or non-functional. Lockout and tagout routines can also be deadly if they are not followed correctly. When workers repair machines that are not properly disconnected from power sources, they may be at risk of fatal electrocution. OSHA records show more than 1,500 serious lockout and tagout violations every year.

Safety violations in the workplace are an ongoing threat for many employees. People who find themselves in an unsafe situation on the job may wish to meet with a workers comp attorney in Illinois.