Worst Workplace Accidents in 2019
Workplace accidents can inflict tragic and often needless trauma on the victims, their families, and even co-workers who witnessed the incident. Employers have a responsibility to keep work sites as safe as possible and ensure that employees are well-trained in safety standards.
Here are three of 2019’s most tragic workplace accidents–and what we can learn from them.
Amazon worker drives out of an open window.
Event: In July 2019, a 24-year-old man in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, died after a driving a four-wheel ATV vehicle out of an open bay window and falling 30 to 40 feet. The worker was hauling smaller construction equipment with the vehicle at the time of the accident. An investigation is pending.
Lesson: While the cause of this particular accident is unknown, ATVs have been at the center of a number of workplace fatalities and injuries. Employers should ensure that these vehicles are well-maintained and all parts are in good working condition. Moreover, they should ensure that the workspace is clear of potential hazards or train employees to verify the absence of such hazards before operating the vehicle.
Man dies after falling into a container of acid
Event: In South Lyon, Michigan, a 54-year-old employee of Michigan Seamless Tube manufacturing company fell into a vat of sulfuric acid while checking the percentage levels of the chemicals. Two co-workers pulled him from the vat, but he suffered severe burns all over his body. He died from his injuries several hours later.
Lesson: Employees should be fully trained in the use of protective equipment and safe procedures when working with or near dangerous chemicals. If there are open vats of hazardous chemicals, companies should also ensure that adequate guardrails and other safety barriers are in place to reduce the risk of accidents.
Worker dies after caught in machinery
Event: In September, a 60-year-old man was killed in Omaha, Nebraska, after becoming trapped under the bucket of a front end loader at a recycling plant. Co-workers called the paramedics, but the man had died by the time they arrived.
Lesson: According to OSHA, “caught-in” hazards are one of the deadliest dangers on a worksite. Employee training is vital. Workers should respect barriers and keep a clear distance from heavy machinery and its load whenever possible. When workers must get near a machine in operation, they should maintain eye contact with the operator and use hand signals to indicate their presence or approach. Employers should also maintain the machine in good condition, whether working or stationary. All parts of the machine should be tight and undamaged.
If you or a friend and loved one has gotten hurt at work, do not hesitate to get help. Contact our Philadelphia worker’s compensation attorneys and lawyer here at Lowenthal & Abrams. We will help you get what you deserve from your injury.