Dressing properly for workplace safety includes more than wearing the right protective gear. Employees also have to know what they shouldn’t wear, such as loose-fitting clothing.
Derri Carrier’s arm was permanently disfigured when she was just 18 years old.
She was cleaning a bacon production line inside an Iowa food processing plant. Moving parts grabbed the loose sleeve of her smock and pulled her arm in.
Carrier’s humerus bone snapped instantly. Her arm was stuck in the machinery, and she couldn’t reach the emergency stop button.
By the time someone heard her screams and stopped the machine, most of her arm’s skin and muscle had been stripped away.
Her employer, National Service Company of Iowa (NSC), conducted its own investigation and concluded the responsibility rested with Carrier. It found she should not have been wearing the loose-fitting smock.
Now, NSC strictly forbids its workers from wearing such loose-fitting clothes.
In an interview with KETV, Carrier wonders why Iowa’s OSHA didn’t investigate.
Iowa only requires workplaces report accidents that involve loss of limb.
The state’s Labor Commissioner, Dave Neil, said more investigations aren’t done because of a lack of federal funds coming to states.
Federal OSHA investigates workplace accidents when there is a fatality or three employees are hospitalized. A bill in Congress would require investigations when two workers have to go to a hospital.
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