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Massachusetts bakery fined by OSHA: workers' compensation?

Workers in Massachusetts can face injuries in their workplace on a daily basis. There are numerous factors that can come into play when workers are in fact injured. Some may be hurt as a result of personal error and not following proper protocols to avoid injury. Other cases are not caused by employees failing to follow rules and regulations, however. Many employer do not enforce proper precautions to keep their employees free of injury; and for one bakery in Massachusetts, they are paying the price -- leaving a family the opportunity to file a claim for workers' compensation.

A 61-year-old woman employed at the bakery recently died as a result of safety precautions not followed by her employers, according to reports. The woman was said to have been working on or near a conveyor belt when she was fatally injured. Her apron apparently was caught in the belt, causing her to become trapped and serious injured. She unfortunately succumbed to her injuries nine days after the incident occurred.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration was called in for an inspection, as a result of the recent fatality, at which point they reportedly discovered numerous serious violations from the bakery. OSHA claims that had the bakery ensured precautions on the conveyor belt, the woman would still be alive. They received citations such as not having enough stop buttons on the conveyor belt, for easy access wherever an employee is, not having the buttons in the color red, as per OSHA regulations for easy finding, and for not having guardrails on the conveyor belt. They received a hefty fine of $20,790 as a result.

The bakery still has some time to either dispute these claims, or pay the fine they were ordered to pay. As for the woman's family, they will mourn this loss forever, and may benefit from knowing they do have legal options surrounding this unexpected passing of their loved one. They can seek workers' compensation from the employer in order to receive adequate funding for her memorial services, as well as any unexpected expenses surrounding the passing of the woman. Massachusetts employees deserve to work in a safe environment and to be compensated for injuries sustained in the normal course of their duties.

Source: Wicked Local, Malden bakery hit with fines after fatality, Nathan Lamb, Nov. 5, 2013

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