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Night-shift accident leads to severe workplace injury

Colorado workers who are tasked with equipment maintenance should not be exposed to known safety hazards. The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration prescribes safety regulations for such activities. When these rules are disregarded, the potential for a workplace injury may increase.

A worker at a meat processing plant in a nearby state recently suffered severe injuries during an over-night sanitation shift. The company has initiated an investigation, and only limited information about the circumstances of the accident was provided. The man was tasked with cleaning equipment when he apparently suffered severe injuries to both his arms. After being rushed to a medical facility, he was transferred to another hospital.

OSHA was reportedly informed about the accident and will likely investigate the accident to determine whether proper lockout/tagout procedures were followed. Whenever maintenance or cleaning of equipment is underway, it is vital to follow the correct procedures for controlling energy sources to avoid unexpected start-up of machines. Even the release of stored energy can cause life-changing injuries or worse.

When employers fail to protect their workers, injuries such as fractures, burns and electrocution can occur. In some cases where proper lockout/tagout procedures are not followed, a worker can be crushed by a machine, or suffer amputation injuries. Following a workplace injury in Colorado, the victim has the right to pursue a workers' compensation benefits claim. Compensation typically covers medical expenses and lost wages. The type and severity of the injuries will determine whether disability benefits may also be applicable.

Source: newspressnow.com, "OSHA to investigate Hillshire accident", Feb. 5, 2015

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