The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration is recommending a $41,000 fine for a Pennsylvania company whose worker was killed by a paving roller. The accident that killed the man falls under various workers' compensation laws as well as safety regulations imposed by the federal agency.
The 55-year-old mechanic was working on a paving roller, a large machine with a giant roller for tamping down asphalt, when the device lurched forward, pinning him beneath it. The Pittsburgh area employer, Export Fuel Company, was determined by OSHA to have failed to train employees to use the roller safely and to follow operation guidelines. OSHA also found that the company was in violation of other safety precautions to prevent electrocution and falls.
Workplace accidents are often caused by faulty equipment or failure to follow proper safety procedures. Employers have a duty to protect employees from unsafe work environments and to provide a healthy and hazard-free workplace. When an employee is injured due to failures to meet these standards, state and federal agencies may impose fines or even shut a business down.
However, in order to collect compensation for their injuries, workers may need to file a workers' compensation claim against the company. Workers' compensation provides payments for lost wages, medical bills and other expenses when an employee is injured. Many injured workers find that collecting on their workers' compensation claims is not simple; some hire a workers' compensation attorney to assist them in collecting the money they need to recover from their injuries and take care of their families.
Source: Claims Journal, "OSHA seeks $41K fine in Pennsylvania paving roller fatality," Mar. 1, 2013