Individuals who work in high-risk professions expect their employers to take every possible step to ensure their safety. For employers, that means not only providing adequate on-the-job training, but also demanding a high standard of excellence in every product and piece of equipment that the company uses. Companies that manufacture, distribute and install that equipment also have a duty to ensure that it is safe for those who will be using it.
Unfortunately, a deadly accident at a pipe-fitting plant shows that at least one party involved failed to adequately protect their end-users. A furnace at one of Victaulic’s plants failed and spilled 9,000 pounds of molten metal into an area where employees were working. At least two employees were injured, and one was killed.
Two of the employees who were injured are suing for the damages they suffered. The two men, Brian and Roberto, suffered serious and permanent damages, and both of their wives are suing for loss of consortium.
When the furnace spilled the molten metal, Brian jumped more than 10 feet down from the platform where he was working to escape. He suffered serious burns as well as other injuries. During the accident, Roberto tried to help a woman who later died. He suffered serious and permanent psychological injuries because of the traumatic event.
The companies named in the lawsuit are facing accusations that their negligence led to the accident. The suit claims that the companies “provided defective materials, installed them improperly or failed to warn of potential dangers.” Although OSHA is investigating the accident, the results of their investigation are not yet available. Hopefully the findings from OSHA as well as the lawsuit will help bring justice to the victims of accident.
Source: The Morning Call, “Suit filed in deadly Victaulic accident,” Daniel Patrick Sheehan, 4 February 2011