When workplace accidents result in severe, life-changing injuries, people often want to know if someone could have prevented them.
The unfortunate truth is that many work-related injuries are preventable with safety protocols, proper training and the use of protective equipment. But when these measures are not in place, the result could be catastrophic for workers.
Multiple violations take a devastating toll on worker
For instance, an employee at an agricultural processing plant suffered lacerations and partial leg amputation when he got stuck in a grain bin auger.
Grain bin accidents are a real threat to agricultural workers. Sadly, they often result in tragic injuries or death. Making matters worse is the fact that many accidents involving workers in or around grain bins are preventable.
In this case, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited the processing company for seven willful violations after the accident. The company failed to train workers properly, secure the space and comply with machine safety regulations.
While reports note that the company understands where it failed and is taking steps to improve safety, seven previous inspections resulted in similar violations and fines. Thus, it will be interesting to see if this case sparks actual action to prevent future incidents.
Workers pay the price for failed safety compliance
Employers must take seriously their responsibility to train workers properly and keep work spaces safe. They must also supervise employees to be sure they comply with safety practices.
When employers or others fail to take these steps, their negligence can result in a preventable accident. And it is often the workers who suffer the consequences in the form of an injury. Therefore, workers must take their own and co-workers safety seriously to help prevent injury, even if their employer does not act in their best interest.
That said, Maryland law does not require an employer acted negligently for a worker to be covered under the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Act. When a person is injured on the job, whether it clearly be the fault of an employer not properly ensuring a safe working environment, or just an unexpected situation that led to an injury, workers should contact counsel to know and protect their rights.