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Animal feed company settles fines over job-related accident

A maker of livestock feed has reportedly reached a satisfactory settlement with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for fines that were assessed over several safety violations that were recently discovered. The facility was the subject of an inspection after a worker suffered a fatal job-related accident on site. While the company is not located in North Carolina, worker safety is certainly a concern for employees everywhere.

It is unclear what led to the fatal incident, but the worker who died was somehow caught up in machinery that blends feed for cattle. According to the report, the worker died after suffering multiple serious trauma wounds. OSHA followed up with an inspection after learning of the death from other sources. After the inspection, the agency uncovered several violations related to safeguards that were not in place and for not reporting a worker fatality as well as other violations.

The feed company was assessed fines in excess of $25,000. It was not disclosed as to what amount the company may have paid, but the agreement was reached after what was described as a casual meeting. The agency has stated that the penalties assessed were dictated by formal guidelines, and that the lack of safety measures can lead to worker fatalities. Conversely, the owner of the company claimed that, regardless of the violations that were found, nothing would have changed the outcome for this worker. OSHA reported that they did not have any records of prior contacts with the feed supplier.

North Carolina workers have a right to a safe workplace while carrying out their assigned duties. Their employers are charged with ensuring that safety, but, unfortunately, not every incident can be prevented, and workers do sometimes suffer from a job-related accident. The workers' compensation program will most likely pay out death benefits to the man's surviving family members in this particular case. Injured workers rely on this program to provide assistance whenever they are off the job for a time after suffering a work-related injury or illness. There are resources available that can provide assistance to those who may have questions or concerns regarding the processing or filing of a qualifying claim.

Source: feednavigator.com, "US feed company pays out over death of worker at mill", Jane Byrne, June 6, 2014

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