Worker Killed at Factory Known for Violations
Two thousand new jobs were created in Moraine, Ohio in 2014 when Chinese manufacturer Fuyao Glass converted an old General Motors facility into an auto glass factory. Since then the factory has been cited and repeatedly fined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for safety violations, and now a worker has been killed.
Crushed by a Ton of Glass
The Dayton Daily News reports that 57-year-old Ricky Patterson was found dead in the early morning hours of March 20, 2018, crushed between a forklift and a pallet of glass weighing over two thousand pounds. An autopsy revealed that he died of blunt force trauma to the head and neck. The cause of the accident is still under investigation.
A Swirl of Citations and Legal Troubles
Television station WHIO reported in 2017 that Fuyao Glass America, Inc. was cited and fined for multiple safety violations. In November 2016 OSHA cited Fuyao for 23 serious violations and one “other than serious,” proposing $226,937 in penalties which were later reduced to $100,000.
In 2017 Fuyao was cited with four new violations and proposed fines of $37,843. The company is also facing legal action by a group of employees over pay and termination accusations according to the Daily News. With the death of Mr. Patterson, OSHA investigators have returned to Fuyao. Following the four new citations, Fuyao’s environmental health and safety manager left the company. A company spokesperson issued a statement saying:
“This team continues to execute on our comprehensive plan to improve safety inside our facility,” Fuyao’s statement also said. “While we may not agree with the legal conclusions of OSHA’s citations, we have and will continue to address the allegations they raise. Fuyao aims to exceed what is required of us by law. The safety and well-being of our employees is a common goal we share with OSHA.”
Unfortunately, it seems that some industrial workplaces get cited for repeated violations and sanctions until they change, or tragedy strikes. Worker safety should always come first, and even one brush with safety regulators should be a wake-up call to management.
Forklift Work Can Be Very Dangerous
While investigators work to determine how the accident that killed Mr. Patterson happened, it is important to remember that forklift work can turn from routine to catastrophic in a heartbeat, as this video shows.
Houston’s Workplace Accident Attorneys
When a worker is injured or killed on the job, he and his family have the right to seek justice for injuries, damages, and losses. That is the cause for which The Callahan Law Firm devotes its practice, fighting on behalf of injured workers and their families. We work on a contingency basis, meaning that we only get paid when you make a recovery whether through settlement or as a result of a trial. Call or email today for a free case evaluation with an experienced industrial accident attorney.