New York owners of businesses that are involved in recycling operations have to ensure that workers are aware of the multiple safety hazards they will encounter within the plant. Also, training must be provided to teach employees how to stay safe. Unfortunately, many workers are injured in industrial accidents that could have been prevented by compliance with safety regulations.
The Long Island area director of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration found multiple safety violations with regard to an accident at a recycling facility in Cutchogue. Three workers suffered serious injuries. Reportedly, the workers were in cleaning screens in a cylindrical screening device when the machine was activated by a co-worker. No lockout procedure to isolate the machine and protect the workers was in place, nor were there written procedures to prevent such accidents.
Investigators also found that safety protocols related to confined spaces were not maintained. OSHA said although the company was fully aware of the safety requirements, it chose not to provide adequate measures to safeguard the workers. Fines totaling $119,000 were proposed for 12 safety violations of which one was willful and 11 were serious.
The severity of the injuries suffered by these three workers is unknown, but the medical expenses and lost wages will likely have an adverse impact on their finances. Victims of industrial accidents may pursue benefits claims through the New York workers' compensation insurance system. Expenses related to medical treatment are typically covered by the insurance program, and if injuries caused workers to be absent from work, a percentage of lost wages may also be awarded.
Source: ohsonline.com, "Workers Seriously Injured When Power is Unexpectedly Turned On", Jan. 13, 2016