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A tragic death brings workplace safety to light in Ohio

Two Ohio men, both former executives at an aluminum company, pleaded not guilty recently to charges relating to an alleged cover-up in the death of a plant worker.

The employee was killed in 2012 by machinery that was deemed unsafe.

One of the men, 62, was the general manager of the plant in North Jackson, Ohio, at the time of the accident. The other man, 57, was the safety coordinator. Each man has been charged with three counts involving obstruction of justice or conspiracy to obstruct justice.

The younger man also was charged with one count of falsification concerning lying to investigators regarding the status of the machinery.

The men were arraigned in the U.S. Northern District Court, a week after being indicted by a federal grand jury.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) conducted an inspection at the plant after the employee was killed when a rack full of hot aluminum parts fell over on him. Another employee had burn injuries.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited the company for exposing employees to burn hazards and not providing safety measures for employees who work with ovens where the aluminum is treated.

According to the indictment, the two men came up with a plan to provide untrue statements and deceive the OSHA investigator, didn't disclose company emails about plant safety and threatened to fire employees if they didn't go along with the cover-up.

This is a tragic example of an incident that affected an Ohio worker who left his home in the morning and expected to get back to his family safely at night. Federal law requires employers to provide safe workplaces, and in this case, it seems the law might not have been followed. The court system will determine the guilt or innocence of the men.

If you have been injured in a workplace accident, you have every right to seek compensation for medical costs and lost wages. An Ohio attorney experienced in dealing with work accidents or workers' compensation claims can assist you.

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