When going to work in the morning or at the start of a shift, most people probably don’t think about the possibility that a tragedy may occur while they are on the job. The same could probably be said for, Alex Radford, who was killed in a work accident at Campbell Soup on Highway 71 North in the Maxton community of Robeson County in North Carolina. Radford, age 59, was also a veteran of the United States Army.
The accident occurred while Radford was working at a loading dock at the factory. Attempting to dump a smaller sized dumpster into a larger one, the smaller receptacle got off track and fell on top of him. Radford was killed and another worker who tried to help was injured in the incident. While the incident was still being investigated by authorities, Radford’s death was declared accidental.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 5,190 workers were killed on the job in 2016, which translates to more than 14 deaths per day. Attorneys at Ankin Law Office LLC note that, excluding highway collisions, the four leading causes of deaths on the job are falls, being struck by an object, electrocution, and getting caught or pinned by an object – as occurred to Radford. Together, these “fatal four” were responsible for more than half (63.7%) the construction worker deaths in 2016.
No one wants to think about the possibility of getting hurt or killed at work, but once you realize that the possibility exists, then you are in a better position to take concrete steps to increase your safety and prevent workplace accidents.
Unfortunately some accidents can’t be prevented, but there are numerous steps you can take to increase your safety. For example, if you work in a job that requires you to repeat a motion over and over, make sure you are using correct form throughout the movement and that you are not working longer shifts than the law permits. To avoid getting struck, pinned or crushed by an object, as did Radford, it is critical that employers have strict protocols for handling heavy equipment, tools and machinery and that these protocols are adhered to by all employees. Additionally, high risk areas should be carefully cordoned off with restricted access only.
Other steps that can be taken to prevent injuries or death from falls include taking extreme care whenever climbing or descending stairs or ladders; not carrying loads with two hands; and making sure the ladder is grounded with a strong and wide foundation. Likewise, to prevent slips, falls, burns and exposure to hazardous materials, the work environment should be clean and organized and contain all the necessary protective gear and equipment.
All safety precautions should be followed in every workplace, and employees should receive proper training for their positions. If the work environment does not comply to industry best practice standards then a complaint should be filed.
If you are injured at work tell your supervisor right away to start the process of receiving workers’ compensation. Any fatality or severe injury must be reported to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration