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Citations issued after man fatally injured at work

It is not just Colorado industrial workers who spend their days near large, dangerous equipment that have to worry about being injured. Those with seemingly safe jobs in comparison also face hazards every day. For instance, a man doing some cleaning outside a meat processing plant in another state was fatally injured at work.

It was after dark, and a car hit him with enough force to cause his death. When the Occupational Safety and Health Administration conducted its investigation into the tragedy, it determined that the worker had not been given high-visibility clothing to wear. Such protective gear is required for employees who work in low lit areas where moving vehicles are commonplace.

At the same time, OSHA conducted an inspection of the entire plant and discovered that employees inside the plant were also at risk of amputation and chemical exposure. Rotating industrial machine parts were not guarded, and Surlean Foods' San Antonio plant -- where the worker died -- did not have written chemical exposure protocols in place. The company was cited for amputation risk, among other issues. The company has 15 days from the issuance of the citations for the nine violations found by OSHA to comply and pay the $52,000 in fines, request a conference or contest the findings.

Sadly, the findings of the OSHA investigation come too late for the deceased worker. However, other employees could be spared the pain of being injured at work if the needed changes are made. Meanwhile, the family who lost their love one may exercise their right to seek death benefits through the workers' compensation system that are similar to those available here in Colorado.

Source: ksat.com, "OSHA cites, fines SA meat processing plant after man killed", Dawn Brooks, Dec. 17, 2014

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