Federal officials are investigating a Plainfield Township workplace accident which killed 60-year-old William H. Edwards, a Monroe County man. According to a news report in The Express Times, Edwards suffered from head trauma after a machine he was working on at RPM Recycling gave way and broke landing on his head. Edwards reportedly died on the scene.
Although township police call it an “unfortunate accident,” federal officials from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, who were notified soon after the accident as per procedure, are investigating the fatal accident. According to the report, another worker was helping Edwards mount a sorting tray on a steel recycling machine when a weld broke causing the tray to hit Edwards on the head. The other worker escaped without any injuries.
OSHA has begun its investigation and will have six months to determine the cause and circumstances of the workers comp accident. According to a department spokeswoman, investigators will also examine whether federal occupational safety and health laws were violated.
The federal investigators are likely to look into different aspects of this incident. They may inspect the machinery or equipment at the recycling plant to see if they are being properly maintained and serviced. They may look into whether the factory managers knew that this particular machinery was malfunctioning and/or if it had malfunctioned in the past. Investigators could also look into whether the worker in question and others had adequate training to operate the equipment or machine in question.
Industrial accidents are the third leading cause of injury and death in the workplace. Recent studies show that mechanical equipment is involved in 80 percent of fatalities. This incident in Plainfield Township was no exception. Industrial accidents often result in catastrophic injuries because of faulty or defective equipment and lack of maintenance. In fact, many accidents occur during cleaning or maintenance work when simple precautions have not been taken to ensure the safety of the workers.
Injuries from industrial accidents could lead to permanent disabilities and as it happened in this case, death. Families of the injured or deceased are victims too, as they suffer from loss of income and more importantly grief and emotional distress. Workers compensation payments alone is usually never sufficient to cover medical expenses or loss of income. If you or a loved one has suffered from a serious heavy machinery accident injury in New Jersey, call the offices of Lependorf & Silverstein today to discuss your options. We may be able to help you.