Employees in industrial facilities will always be exposed to equipment hazards if their employers fail to provide the required safe guards and lockout/tag-out devices as prescribed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Too many lives and limbs are lost nationwide, including in New Jersey, in workplace accidents that result from safety violations. The family of a 46-year-old man will likely seek survivor's benefits from the workers' compensation insurance system after his recent death in an industrial accident.
According to an incident report, the deceased man was an employee at a plastics manufacturer. During the morning of a recent Tuesday, he was working on a piece of equipment that is located among many other machines. Reportedly, he was trying to repair a malfunction on the printing machine that he was manning while label printing took place. When a problem arose, he apparently tried to resolve the issue but got struck in the head by a moving machine part.
The employee did not survive the head injury. Employers in all industrial facilities are responsible for the safety and health of employees, and part of that responsibility is to provide safety training and monitor workers to make sure they comply with safety regulations. If this machine had been de-energized by a lockout device that would have stopped it from activating while repairs or maintenance took place, this fatality might have been prevented. Reportedly, OSHA investigators will inspect the facility to determine whether a safety violation caused this man's death.
While no amount of money can replace a loved one, the death benefits that surviving family members can obtain through the New Jersey workers' compensation system can ease the financial burden. Benefits will cover the costs of a funeral and burial. Furthermore, a financial package -- based on the average wage of the deceased worker -- will be provided to assist with day-to-day living costs in the time following the death of their loved one. Some families choose to use the services of an experienced workers' comp attorney to navigate benefits claims for them.
Source: lehighvalleylive.com, "Man dies in Phillipsburg area industrial accident", Tony Rhodin, July 25, 2017