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Unguarded lathe spindle causes fatal workplace injuries

Employees of industrial companies in New York are frequently exposed to dangerous moving parts of machines. Even though unguarded equipment is responsible for so many serious and even fatal workplace injuries, employers still allow these hazardous conditions to exist. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration prescribes clear guidelines and regulations about the safeguarding of machines, and violations can have devastating consequences.

A company in another state was recently cited by OSHA for one serious and one willful violation after the death of a worker. Reportedly, the man was operating a lathe at the premises of a tool and manufacturing company. Because the machine’s spindle was exposed, the worker became entangled in it.

The injuries the employee suffered were severe enough to cause his death. An OSHA investigator determined that the employer allowed the machine to be operated without working safety locks. In fact, the safety locks were found to have been bypassed. An OSHA director said it is not uncommon for company owners to by-pass vital safety features on dangerous equipment to speed up production.

Unfortunately, some business owners in New York and across the country prioritize profits over the safety of their employees, and complacency has led to many fatal workplace injuries. The surviving family members of the deceased worker are entitled to seek financial support through the workers’ compensation insurance system. They may file death benefits claims with the program to obtain assistance with the high costs of end-of-life arrangements. Also, living expenses in the difficult time after such a loss will likely be covered in a wage-replacement package that will be awarded.

Source:, “Machine Guards Were Bypassed in Fatal Lathe Operator Injury“, Sept. 8, 2016

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