May 16, 2013
It's not an event employers want to think about, but something they definitely should plan for: a fatality at their workplace. On May 16, the Lehigh Valley Safety Council sponsored a free seminar on "The Impacts and Realities of Workplace Fatalities" at Northampton Community College's Lipkin Theatre.
Thomas Barnowski, director of Corporate and Public Safety Education at NCC's Center for Business & Industry, led participants through a scenario in which a lift truck operator under the influence of alcohol crashes into a chemical barrel full of "methyl-ethyl death," killing himself and a co-worker.
Topics covered included how a company should react to the incident, the internal reaction from employees, how external agencies would respond, reaction from the community surrounding the facility, corporate response, investigation, and the phases of recovery.
Northampton County Coroner Zachary Lysek and Andy Kehm, detective sergeant of the Bethlehem Police Department and program manager for NCC's Northeast Forensics Training Center, spoke about how their departments would handle a fatality at the scene.
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