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Safety violation: Company cited after exposing worker to aniline

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently cited a commercial incinerator facility in Ohio that disposes of commercial hazardous waste after completing an investigation into an August incident in which a worker was exposed to aniline. This follows an incident in which the company was found to have committed the same safety violation in 2012,in which three workers were hospitalized after exposure to aniline. A statement by the company says that its goal is to have zero incidents of workplace injuries.

According to OSHA, the worker who was exposed in August is a 56-year-old technician with many years of experience in the chemical industry. Despite his experience, safety protocols were not in place, and the man was sent to the hospital after being exposed to aniline. Such exposure typically causes headaches, confusion, weakness, skin lesions and can even cause cancer.

OSHA investigators determined that, as in 2012, the company once again failed to evaluate the hazards and provide employees with adequate protection in the form of effective respirators. Moreover, the use of the respirators by workers was not monitored. The company also failed to implement a procedure for decontamination after workers were exposed to hazardous chemicals.

Any safety violation that causes an occupational illness can bring about long-term medical problems. Any Ohio worker who suffers the consequences of exposure to toxic waste materials may be unable to return to work for some time, and he or she may have to face ongoing medical expenses. To obtain financial assistance with medical expenses and lost income, benefits claims may be pursued through the workers' compensation insurance program.

Source: wkbn.com, "OSHA cites East Liverpool company for toxic exposure incident", Chelsea Simeon, Feb. 24, 2016

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