The Health and Safety Act of 1970 makes clear that employers must provide all workers a safe place to work, free from potential hazards. In a recent press release, the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) determined that a Massachusetts company did not notify the agency, as was required, that a worker was hospitalized after suffering a serious injury. This serious safety and health hazard was compounded by the fact that the employer also failed to notify emergency medical services promptly after the Massachusetts work injury.
This particular packaging company is responsible for filling, packaging, and shipping aerosol containers. The injured worker had been working on a production line, and a gas head on this line directs chemicals into the aerosol cans. As a temporary worker, he was not sufficiently trained. At the time of the serious injury, the worker was cleaning a gas head. Unexpectedly, the production line activated. The result was devastating – a gas head needle pierced the worker’s’ finger, injecting him with a propellant gas that then inflated his arm.
OSHA’s investigation revealed that company managers had not contacted 911 immediately. The hurt worker was taken in a private vehicle for medical treatment and was hospitalized. The OSHA area director for central and western Massachusetts made clear that according to law, employers should immediately contact 911 following an employee injury. In this case, by delaying contact, the worker was exposed to additional bodily harm and potentially permanent, disabling injuries.