Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Keeping workers safe should be a company's first priority

OSHA proposed a steep fine for repeat and
serious violations in worker safety guidelines.
When companies get lax with safety protocols, it can get costly.

United States workers are protected by gyidelines issued by the Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). When OSHA receives complaints and starts investigating, companies better take note.

Fines for serious and repeat citations can run into the thousands.

In a recent case of an electroplating company in Connecticut, OSHA issued two repeat and 11 serious citations and proposed penalties of $48,304.

The company allegedly exposed workers to chemical and mechanical hazards, some of them were repeat violation from a previous investigation in 2010.

This time, OSHA found that the company failed to

  •     Determine employees’ initial exposure levels to lead and cadmium, two toxic substances in use at the workplace;
  •     Provide workers with training on cadmium hazards;
  •     Prevent cadmium buildup on machinery;
  •     Evaluate employees’ ability to safely operate forklifts;
  •     Ensure that employees who wear respirators are medically able to do so;
  •     Prevent employees from consuming food and drink in areas where the toxic substance hexavalent chromium was present;
  •     Separate flammable spray operations by at least three feet;
  •     Provide appropriate training to emergency coordinators and employees expected to fight fires; and
  •     Ground and shield an electric lamp against damage.

“Employees at this plant work with highly hazardous chemicals. It’s imperative that their employer take all necessary steps to protect their health and well-being at all times,” said Warren Simpson, OSHA’s area director in Hartford.

“That includes monitoring exposure levels, providing proper and effective protective clothing, and ensuring that employees are properly trained.”

Source: OSHA

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