|Posted by Dianne Tobias - July 19, 2011
Pinnacol prepares fatality alerts following claims in which an employee of one of our policyholders is killed on the job. These reports can be difficult to read, but they are valuable as educational tools, helping us understand what actions and resources are available to prevent serious injury and death in the workplace.
One of our most recent fatality alerts involves a tragic mix-up. Two employees were instructed to apply a chemical to ornamental iron to improve its appearance. The employees poured a blue chemical from the original manufacturer’s container into a Gatorade bottle. One of the employees, a man with over 20 years of experience, mistakenly swallowed the chemical in the Gatorade bottle, resulting in his death.
Several measures could have prevented this terrible accident:
- Following OSHA standards that require if a chemical is transferred from the original container it must be labeled with the chemical’s identity.
- Prohibit use of food containers as chemical containers regardless of how long or how many employees are going to use the product.
- Train employees on how to immediately access Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) information when they are on a job site.
- Provide CPR and first aid training to personnel.
- Equip vehicles used to transport personnel with a list of medical facilities near the job site, including the locations and phone numbers.
Although every workplace accident is different, there are valuable lessons to be learned from all. Implementing best safety practices and utilizing available resources will help protect your most valuable asset – your employees. See a more detailed report.