Just two weeks ago, a worker at a Nashville industrial glass plant died in a tragic industrial workplace accident. The 51-year-old had worked as a production technician who operated the equipment required to manufacture windshields. She had been with the plant for almost 18 years.
According to the supervisor, the worker reported a problem with her work station printer. Shortly after, she put her head inside the machine, which set off the printer’s sensors and activated the machine’s work cycle as it would when another windshield was inserted. The worker received severe crush injuries and a fatal head wound. A medical team arrived at the plant shortly after the accident and pronounced her dead.
Heartbreaking Accident Reflects Poor Workplace Safety Training
A spokeswoman from the Tennessee Occupational Safety & Health Administration released a statement saying the agency is currently investigating the accident, for which the results could take up to six weeks. TOSHA will be investigating whether the machine matches all safety standards during the time the accident took place.
However, it is easy to speculate two possible scenarios for this. Either the machine fails safety standards and the plant was allowing its employees to operate unsafe equipment, or the machine passes safety standards and the accident could have been prevented if the worker was properly trained on the dos and don’ts of malfunctioning production equipment. In both scenarios, the Nashville glass plant did not put its workers’ safety as a priority.
Is TOSHA Also at Fault for This Accident?
The current owner acquired the glass plant 11 years ago, and according to a local news station, TOSHA has not once conducted any inspections during that time frame. By the same token, there have been no employee complaints or serious injuries under the new ownership. However, this does not excuse the lack of inspections. TOSHA should take the initiative to conduct regular inspections on businesses that operate with dangerous machinery, regardless of whether there have been any complaints or injuries prior. In so doing, it may actually prevent accidents from happening in the future.
Stanley A. Davis is a personal injury attorney in Nashville that helps victims of workplace accidents.
“I said, “Oh that I had wings like a dove! Then I would fly away, and be at rest.” Psalms 55:6