DOUGLAS COUNTY, Minn.— An employee at a 3M facility in Alexandria died Feb. 8 after getting caught in a piece of machinery.
The accident reportedly occurred at about 3:45 a.m. Officials, including those with the Minnesota Occupational Safety and Health Administration, are still determining how the incident occurred.
In a statement, 3M said it enacted emergency response procedures and notified emergency response personnel and OSHA but has not offered any additional details.
The plant makes industrial abrasives and adhesives, according to its website. It was reportedly closed Tuesday but reopened on Wednesday.
Commentary on the Fatal 3M accident in Douglas County, Minnesota
Workplace accidents across the nation continue to kill employees at a surprisingly high rate. This is unacceptable, and the families of the deceased victims deserve answers from the corporations involved.
It is not surprising that 3M hasn’t provided further details on this accident. 3M is a highly sophisticated corporation with legal counsel guiding every step they take. Unfortunately, this often means the corporation can control the story told and the details provided. To find equal footing, the deceased’s family must rely on trained professionals with experience in the industry. Corporations often seek to shift blame in these types of accidents by pointing to missteps by the employee. However, it is essential to realize that corporations must distill a safety culture. It is possible that this employee undertook a dangerous act that was prohibited by company policy. However, did management encourage such behavior by allowing it to go unchecked? Alternatively, did the company encourage such behavior by managers and other leaders engaging in similar conduct?
Uncovering the facts surrounding this accident requires much more than reviewing the accident in question. This family deserves to know the culture of 3M and the specific actions taken to prevent such injuries from occurring.
Disclaimer: On our blog, we report on recent catastrophic accidents to begin important conversations about consumer safety. If these resources are found to include any false or outdated information, we invite you to contact The Ammons Law Firm as soon as possible so we may correct the issue. This content should not be construed as legal counsel or advice.