Food workers risk life and limb in industrial vats

Having represented workers who have had limbs mangled in industrial mixers and families of those who have lost their lives in giant food vats, Ashburn and Reston area injury lawyer Doug Landau has seen first and the devastation these gigantic machines can cause innocent victims.  In one case, the Herndon based ABRAMS LANDAU law firm was able to secure compensation for a food service worker at Reagan National Airport whose hand and arm was mangled in the blades of a frozen yogurt machine.  In another case, the Landau Law Shop was called upon by the family of a worker who died in an industrial meat grinding machine.  In both cases, when the workers became entrapped in the food processing equipment, there was no way for them to shut off the machinery.

Recently, Herndon disability and injury lawyer Doug Landau was apprised of two companies that were fined after a worker died in a vat of chocolate.  Landau, who is licensed in New Jersey, came across the Insurance Journal report of two chocolate processing companies in Camden, New Jersey that had been fined for safety violations following the death of an employee who fell into a giant vat of chocolate in July.  The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited Lyons & Sons Inc. and Cocoa Services LP with a total of 12 serious citations.

One worker died in July after he was hit by a paddle used to mix chocolate.  OSHA said there were improper safety precautions at the facility and that a first-aid program was not in place.  Fines for the two companies total more than $39,000.  A city judge had already levied a fine for operating a business without a license.  Safety precautions Doug Landau has advocated for in the past include “kill switches” that turn off food processing machines and other industrial equipment when the operator is in trouble.  Likewise, dangerous machines need to be designed so that they automatically shut down when the operator is not depressing the power button.  Lastly, machines should not be designed so that the employer can override the safety precautions or remove safety guards.

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