Frequent readers of this blog are likely aware that employers in Pennsylvania
are required to take reasonable care to ensure the work environment is
as safe as possible for their employees. In addition, a majority of employers
in the state are required to carry workers' compensation insurance
to cover the compensation that will be owed to an employee who suffers a
Although employers are aware of these rules and legislation, some still
choose not to take the necessary steps to ensure the safety of their employees.
When this is the case, as it seems to be for a chocolate plant in Pennsylvania,
there will be penalties to pay.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is currently seeking
$87,000 from a Pennsylvania chocolate plant for an on-the-job injury that
occurred in February. The employee was injured at work when a machine
turned on unexpectedly and crushed the individual's hand and wrist.
In addition to this injury in February, OSHA also fined the plant more
than $84,000 last year for an injury that occurred in Oct. 2011. This
injury occurred while the worker was setting up a molding machine. This
machine also started up unexpectedly, and the employee suffered severe
head injuries as a result. OSHA believes that the company's machines
are not all set up property and locked to prevent these types of injuries
caused by accidental starts.
When these injuries happen, it is not only OSHA that is entitled to money
as a result. Most employers are also required to pay an injured employee
workers' compensation benefits for their injuries. These benefits
allow the employee to recover lost wages, medical bills and other expenses
that were unexpected and arise as a result of the injury.
Source: Claims Journal, "OSHA Seeks $87K for Injury at Pennsylvania Chocolate Plant," Aug. 14, 2013.