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Employee Lost Legs in Tire Shredder Accident; OSHA Investigates

We all know the many hazards that exist in workplaces in Texas and throughout the country. Despite their known existence, however, some employers still do not take the necessary precautions to keep their employees safe. Unfortunately, we have yet another sad story to tell of an employee who was permanently injured in a machine accident.

The accident happened at a tire recycling plant in Kansas City. The 40-year-old worker had been on the job for about month when a friend came to visit. The worker was doing maintenance work on a tire shredding machine when his friend accidentally turned the shredder on. The employee's legs were caught in the machine, and he lost both of them. While it is certainly fortunate that he survived, we have to wonder if there is something the company could have done to prevent this tragic workplace injury from occurring.

Should the machine have been turned off completely if it needed to be serviced? Should someone have prevented a non-worker from being onsite? Should the injured employee have been better trained to work on the equipment? The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the workplace accident. Should investigators find any violations, the company may be fined, and the worker may be able to collect compensation.

One accident like this is one too many. Although the most serious damage is done to whichever employee is physically harmed, what some employers may forget is that an accident like this can have troubling effects on other employees as well. In this case, trauma counselors were hired to talk to workers who saw the gruesome accident happen. Hopefully OSHA's investigation will help make this workplace safer for its employees.

Source: TireBusiness.com, "OSHA probing tire shredder accident," April 2, 2013

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