Ohio: VSSR Award Appropriate When Employer Had Notice of Faulty Two-Hand Controls

Ohio: VSSR Award Appropriate When Employer Had Notice of Faulty Two-Hand Controls

An appellate court in Ohio recently affirmed the award of additional benefits based upon the employer’s violation of a specific safety requirement (VSSR) associated with the spontaneous cycling of a mechanical power press that caused claimant’s left hand crushing injury; left hand amputation; and prolonged PTSD.  The press in question employed a two-station die that required the operator to depress two palm buttons in order to activate the stamping process.  As claimant was maneuvering a blank part in the first of the two dies, the press engaged and crushed his hand.  The court indicated that that while a one time malfunction of a safety device could not be the basis for a violation, there was evidence here that the specific press had spontaneously cycled before claimant's injury and that the employer had notice of the malfunction. Moreover, the court stated that when the ram on a machine with a two-hand control device is able to descend without the operator depressing the palm buttons on the two-hand control device, the two-hand control device is wholly ineffective.  The court found that the commission did not abuse its discretion in granting claimant's VSSR application because the employer had prior notice of the malfunctioning safety device.

Reported by Thomas A. Robinson, J.D.

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See State ex rel. Pennant Moldings, Inc. v. Industrial Comm’n, 2013-Ohio-3259, 2013 Ohio App. LEXIS 3322 (July 25, 2013) [2013 Ohio App. LEXIS 3322 (July 25, 2013)]

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 105.06 [105.06]

Source: Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, the nation’s leading authority on workers’ compensation law.

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