During the middle of April this year, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration cited a company after an inspection. The safety inspection was done after two incidents in which two workers each suffered a workplace injury. OSHA fined the company, alleging that it has repeatedly violated safety requirements. The role of OSHA is to act as a watchdog against employers in the United States, including Tennessee, who do not ensure safe working conditions.
In this instance, the hand of one of the injured workers was seriously crushed, while the second injured worker’s hand had to be partially amputated. After the investigation was completed, the company was fined for 12 safety violations, all serious, as well as one willful violation and one repeat violation. The company faces $76,900 in potential fines for several of the serious safety violations cited by OSHA.
OSHA alleges that the company has “willfully” failed to warn employees against burning hazards by not using the prescribed danger labels and proper safety guards on machines. This violation may cost the company $70,000. The company also received a repeat violation, which may cost it $38,500, for a lack of guards on machines that can serve as an extra security measure protecting employees against hazards posed by rotating parts and nip points.
It seems sad that two workers had to suffer severe injuries, considering that this company had apparently been warned in the past. According to a spokesperson for OSHA, these workplace injuries could have been prevented if the company had complied with safety regulations. It is the company’s duty to eliminate or control workplace hazards by following governmental safety regulations. Apart from facing possible fines, the company could also face workers’ compensation claims filed by the injured workers.
Workplace injuries are very often life-changing and may lead to an inability to work. A worker in Tennessee who has suffered a workplace injury may elect to file workers’ compensation claims against an employer. Damages awarded in a successful workers’ compensation claim may assist the injured worker in meeting associated expenses, such as medical and rehabilitation costs, as well as loss of income.
Source: ohsonline.com, “Fabric Facility Fined by OSHA Following Worker Hand Injuries“, , April 10, 2014