The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited a steel packaging supplier for allegedly exposing its workers to amputation, chemical and other safety hazards at a job site in Lavonia, Georgia.
OSHA cited Indiana-based Wright Metal Products Crates LLC, which manufactures metal containers, for:
- Failing to train workers on lockout/tagout procedures.
- Requiring workers to use their own locks when performing die changes on machinery.
- Failing to provide appropriate eye and face protection.
- Exposing workers to hazardous paint fumes.
- Failing to provide workers with separate oxygen and propylene cylinders.
- Not properly labeling hazardous chemicals.
OSHA is fining the company $195,034. The agency conducted an inspection in accordance with the National Emphasis Program on Amputations and the Regional Emphasis Program for Powered Industrial Trucks.
“Effectively implementing comprehensive safety and health programs that include steps for identifying and eliminating hazards protects workers, and prevents injuries and illnesses,” said OSHA Area Director William Fulcher.
Wright Metal Products Crates has 15 days from the receipt of the citations to either comply, contest the findings, or request an informal meeting with OSHA’s area director.
A similar case was reported last week in Florida, where two West Palm-based roofing companies were cited by OSHA for exposing employees to fall hazards. CJM Roofing and Action Roofing Services were both fined for allegedly failing to provide workers with adequate fall protections.
Action Roofing Services was accused of exposing workers to safety hazards at work sites in Palm Beach Gardens and Port Saint Lucie. The company faces over $145,000 in fines. CJM Roofing was cited and fined $291,724 for purportedly exposing employees to falls and other hazards at job sites in Royal Palm Beach and Port St. Lucie. Both companies were given 15 business days to comply with the citations.
The OSHA Act of 1970 requires businesses to provide workers with a safe working environment. The agency’s job is to ensure worker safety by setting standards and providing education, training, and assistance.
Citations and penalties of this kinda are necessary for protecting the health and wellbeing of workers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 3 million workers in the U.S. suffered from work-related illnesses and illnesses in 2014.
Workers injured on the job have the right to receive benefits that cover lost wages and medical expenses through their state’s workers’ compensation program. In Florida, for example, private employers must obtain workers’ compensation insurance if they employ four or more people.
Businesses that attempt to misclassify workers by claiming they do jobs that are safer than they actually are, or employers who claim they have fewer workers to avoid paying high premiums can be charged with workers’ compensation fraud.
Workers’ compensation insurance is a significant expense for businesses, and fraud makes the price of premiums even higher. To combat fraud, state agents regularly conduct on-site inspections to ensure businesses comply with the state’s workers’ compensation law.
South Florida Workers’ Compensation Fraud Attorney
Accused of workers’ compensation fraud? Contact Brian Silber, P.A. for a free initial consultation with one of South Florida’s most experienced workers’ compensation fraud defense attorneys.