All employers are required to take steps to maintain a safe workplace for
their employees. Some may be outlined by common sense. Others may be specified
by law. If employers do not do this, they can be held accountable. A Pennsylvania
oil filter recycling company is currently experiencing this very situation.
It's facing a $58,000 fine from the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health
Administration as a result.
When there is a workplace accident that leaves aworker injured, an OSHA investigation sometimes follows. A complaint about an employer
can also trigger an OSHA investigation. After a complaint was filed with
OSHA on a recycling company in Pennsylvania, the agency began such a probe.
According to OSHA, the investigation revealed one repeat violation, 25
serious violations and one minor violation of health and safety standards.
The company's alleged repeat violation was its failure to remove from
service unsafe and defective trucks. It was a repeat violation because
the company had already been cited for it within the past five years.
The serious violations included a wide variety of potential hazards that
held the risk of workers being injured in a fall, being hit by something
or suffering electrical shock. Additionally, the company was found to
have failed to provide proper showers, eyewash stations and portable fire
extinguishers and unguarded or improperly maintained machinery. General
safety and hazard response programs were also found to be lacking. Serious
violations are deemed to be those that could result in a high probability
of death or physical harm.
It is important for employers to exercise their due diligence to maintain
a safe workplace and to provide the necessary coverage for healthcare
treatment and lost wages in the event of injuries on the job. When they
don't, it is only right that they be held accountable for their negligence.
Source: Recycling Today, "OSHA fines Pennsylvania Recycler," Nov. 6, 2012