Two Alabama workers at a manufacturing plant in Montgomery County were each injured in separate accidents at the end of last year. Both workers had their arms injured a few weeks apart from machinery that was not properly equipped for safety. One worker received a gash when the equipment struck him, and the other broke his arm.
A broken arm or some stitches might not seem like serious injuries when compared to the catastrophic outcomes of other workplace accidents in Alabama. However, this accident occurred in a plant that manufacturers dry powder paint. Likely these men worked on a line that requires the use of both of their arms. A broken arm can mean weeks in a cast, and sometimes even surgery. In similar instances, injured workers in Alabama can not only get their medical expenses covered, but also receive pay for their recovery time under workers' compensation.
The extent of these workers' injuries was not detailed in a local report, nor was their recovery time. However, these injuries were enough to get the attention of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. OSHA was concerned about the close proximity of the accidents, so the administration conducted an investigation into the Alabama plant to understand if there was an ability to mitigate the risk of additional accidents.
The investigation concluded that both workers were injured because the employer knew or should have known that there was equipment that lacked proper guarding for conveyor rollers. Accordingly, the company was fined $41,600 because an area director from OSHA said, "These injuries could have been prevented if the employer implemented the recommendations of a safety consultant to provide machine guarding for the conveyor rollers on the mixer hoppers."
It is unfortunate that more employers across the entire state of Alabama do not take enough of an interest in proactively avoiding workplace injuries. Luckily, there are measures in place to protect the financial security of Alabama workers following workplace accidents. Speaking to an experienced legal attorney will better assist a worker in understanding how to obtain their full benefits.
Source: AL.com, "Alabama manufacturer cited for safety and health violations following two injuries," Dawn Kent, April 10, 2013