A tortilla factory was closed by the New York State Workers’ Compensation board after an employee was caught in a mixing machine and died.
A surveillance video shows the employee reaching into the machine to push down dough before his arm got caught on one of the blades, pulling him in.
When officials from the state visited the factory after the accident, they found that the company’s workers’ comp policy had lapsed in March of last year. Although it’s not commonplace for the state to shut down a company when the insurance has lapsed, the death of the employee prompted the visit and subsequent closure by officials. A NY State Workers’ Compensation spokesman said, “The owner would need to get the insurance and pay fines before he is permitted to reopen.” Currently, the company owes $56,000 in penalties. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Department of Labor are also looking into the incident.
This sad case highlights the neglect and disregard some employers have toward workers’ compensation insurance. In Pennsylvania, workers’ compensation is a state-mandated insurance program that provides compensation to employees who suffer work-related injuries. If an employer fails to provide workers’ compensation coverage, then it is the injured worker’s option to either sue the employer in tort or under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act. An attorney is best suited to make the decision on which option would benefit the worker. If you have been involved in an injury at work, contact the attorneys at Michael J. O’Connor & Associates for a free review of your case.