Last month, Supreme Oil Co. Inc., a NJ food product manufacturer and distributor, was cited by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for one alleged willful, one repeat and numerous serious safety and health violations at its plant in Englewood, NJ.
The willful violation involved undeveloped and undocumented lockout/tagout procedures to control potentially hazardous energy for the machines at the plant.
Other violations included, but were not limited to:
To ensure the safety of workers who work on machines, it is vital to have lockout/tagout procedures to prevent the machines from inadvertently starting and injuring the workers.
A common injury sustained by workers when lockout/tagout procedures are not in place is crush injuries. For example, a machine operator needs to perform some maintenance work on the machine and needs access to the moving parts of the machine. Therefore, the machine needs to be shut off so the operator can have access and work on the parts. If lockout/tagout procedures are not in place, the machine could start inadvertently and crush the worker’s hand/arm. In some situations, the worker’s entire body can be crushed by the machine, resulting in a fatality.
Though injured workers generally cannot sue their employers for injuries sustained while at work, there are certain situations where workers can bring a lawsuit for their injuries. See New Jersey Employees & Workers Injured On The Job Can Sue Employers For Willful Violations
If you were injured while servicing a machine, you may be entitled to compensation if a lockout/tagout standard was not in place. Feel free to contact our experienced Pennsylvania and New Jersey industrial machinery accident lawyers for a free consultation at 877.944.8796.