One of the duties of investigators with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is to conduct an investigation after a workplace fatality. OSHA generally has up to six months to determine whether citations need to be issued and fines need to be assessed against the company where the worker died. One such investigation was recently completed at Colorado-based meatpacking company, JBS USA, after a worker was fatally injured at work.
Reports indicate that, on June 10, 2014, a 54-year-old maintenance technician was working near a conveyor belt that was not properly guarded. Somehow, the technician’s hair became entangled in the belt, which caused him to be dragged into the machinery. He ultimately died as a result of the injuries he suffered.
OSHA determined that the company failed to take the appropriate safety measures to ensure that no one near the machinery would suffer any injuries. This is not the first time the company has been cited and fined for the same issue. JBS USA was found to be at fault for the death of the maintenance technician. The company has 15 days to either take corrective action or ask for a hearing regarding the citations and fines.
Any measures taken by the company to improve safety for its workers come too late for the man killed in June. Since the accident, the family of the worker fatally injured at work is most likely attempting to adjust to life without him. Colorado workers’ compensation benefits may be available to the family to help alleviate the financial losses incurred as a result of his death.
Source: greeleytribune.com, “OSHA: Holes in JBS safety practices at fault in June death”, Kayla Young, Dec. 11, 2014