OSHA cites Malden, Massachusetts, bakery after fatal accident

Federal officials opened an investigation into a fatal accident that occurred at a Malden, Massachusetts, bakery in mid-August. In late October, OSHA officials issued citations that accuse the bakery of serious safety violations, exposing workers to the risk of serious injury or death.

On August 15, a 61-year-old worker was strangled to death after her apron was caught in a conveyor belt at the bakery. OSHA investigators say that the bakery failed to have proper guards in place and other issues existed to increase the risk of death or injury for workers at the bakery. It is not the first time that issues were found at the location. OSHA says that a worker lost a finger in a machine accident at the site in 2011.

In general, inadequate guards on machinery are a significant hazard for workers. The Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health says that in addition to injury accidents, inadequate guarding has been involved in many of the 21 workplace fatalities where workers have been crushed to death by machinery since the year 2000.

Workplace accidents can take all kinds of forms and arise in any type of occupation. Injuries from workplace activities can also take many forms, from those arising from a single incident, to injuries that occur over time from repetitive stress and repetitive strain. While any injury can be hard on a worker, a fatal workplace accident can be devastating for families.

Many people may be aware that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration may often conduct investigations after a fatal workplace accident. These probes may help in controlling workplace safety issues into the future and provide answers to families. But families of fatal workplace accident victims may wish to pursue their own actions though legal claims in addition to what government officials pursue.

Source: Malden Patch, "OSHA Fines Malden Bakery After Fatality," Mark Ouellette, Nov. 5, 2013