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“A worker’s first day at work shouldn’t be his last day on earth”

This dramatic yet blatantly obvious statement is in fact a quote by David Michaels of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in the USA. It followed the death of Lawrence “Day” Davis, a temporary worker, less than 2 hours after starting the first day of his first ever job.

Davis was cleaning broken glass from under the hoist of a palletiser when a colleague restarted the machine. The hoist lowered and Davis was crushed to death under it.

An OSHA inspection of the Bacardi bottling plant in Jacksonville Florida, where the accident occurred, resulted in 12 violations being issued against the company for breaches of safety regulations, resulting in fines of $192,000.   

This is sadly not an isolated example and, even more sadly, this tragic death could have been prevented by the effective implementation of risk assessment on the machinery involved. Measures should have been in place to make it impossible for the machine to be restarted whilst anyone was inside it.

Do you have an effective workflow for implementing risk assessment and compliance into your machinery? If not, watch this space. Through DesignSpark, RS are about to offer a solution to its community.

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25 Sep 2017, 12:10