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Connecticut company fined after worker loses fingers

Workplace accidents can happen at any kind of workplace, but some kinds of work are inherently more dangerous than others. Connecticut and federal agencies are charged with the task of overseeing workplace safety, and may impose penalties when they find conditions that could lead to a serious accident at work.

This blog recently discussed an accident in which a man working at a Connecticut masonry company lost most of his fingers in a workplace accident. The masonry company was recently ordered to pay a fine of over $6,000 in connection with that accident.

The worker, who had only recently moved to Connecticut and was living in temporary housing after losing his home in New York due to last fall's Hurricane Sandy. At the masonry company, the man reportedly touched a wire rope that was part of a machine used to move concrete, resulting in the loss of eight fingers.

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigated the incident and fined the company for three violations. According to OSHA, the company should have installed a safeguard to prevent workers from touching the wire rope that caused the injury in this case.

Penalties from OSHA or other government agencies can hopefully deter other employers from letting unsafe working conditions go unchecked. Inspections can catch unsafe working conditions before they lead to an accident. Under OSHA, workers have a right to receive training from their employer on any dangerous conditions they face while on the job, Workers also have the right to know OSHA standards for their line of work. Finally, under OSHA, workers can ask their employers to remedy a dangerous condition or they can file a complaint with OSHA should their employer fail to do so. OSHA may then issue fines to companies that fail to comply with OSHA standards.

When workers are injured on the job, they are often left with huge medical expenses, lost wages and other damages. Connecticut's workers' compensation benefits are designed to provide compensation, but navigating the system isn't always easy. When an employer rejects a claim, or doesn't provide enough coverage, injured workers can feel stuck. Connecticut workers who have been hurt in a work-related accident should get help investigating their legal options.

Source: WTNH, "Conn. company fined after worker injured," May 8, 2013

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