The United States Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently found 36 safety and health violations during an inspection of a Georgia manufacturer.
The manufacturer specializes in mulch and similar products. Citations include:
- Fall hazards. The agency issued many citations for fall hazards, including use of a closed step ladder to reach up and perform maintenance on a horizontal grinder, use of ladders that were not inspected, damaged ladders were not clearly marked as "Dangerous: Do Not Use" and a failure to use guardrails were required.
- Lack of safeguards. Alarms like fire alarms, sprinkler systems and other safeguards were not present or in working order within the facility.
- Improper storage. The employer did not require the use of valve caps for storage of compressed gas containers. A failure to properly store these units can result in a struck-by accident.
- Failure to inspect hazardous spaces. The employer also failed to properly inspect and evaluate hazards before having employees enter certain spaces. This included the use of employees to enter a machine mixer to repair the belts and paddles.
These and other listed violations can result in serious injury to employees. These injuries could include struck-by and caught-in accidents as well as electrical and fall hazards.
OSHA's intends to better ensure a safe work environment through the use of these inspections. However, injured employees can pursue justice against a responsible employer through a workers' compensation claim. The injured worker should receive compensation from the Workers' Compensation provider. Unfortunately, not all companies meet this expectation. As such, injured workers are wise to seek legal counsel to help better ensure they receive the compensation they deserve.