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Safety violation: Workers still in danger at metal coating plant

During an inspection at a metal coating facility in Ohio in 2012, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration determined that employees were exposed to multiple dangerous conditions at the plant. Instead of addressing the issues for which citations were issued at that time, the company chose to continue leaving workers unprotected. Even one safety violation can cause life-changing workplace injuries or illness.

OSHA conducted a follow-up visit in February and found that workers remained exposed to threats of debilitating injuries. Inspectors determined that no protective clothing, eyewear or respirators were provided for workers who were tasked with dipping parts into acid-plating tanks. Along with the chemical hazards, workers were also exposed to machinery hazards.

Investigators found machines without safeguards to protect workers from making contact with dangerous moving parts, creating amputation hazards. No medical evaluation protocols were established, nor were there facilities for employees to wash their eyes or other body parts in cases of dangerous chemical contamination. Furthermore, the company failed to provide workers with safety training that may protect them against severe injuries or occupational illnesses caused by the chemicals to which they are exposed.

Regardless of whether a workplace injury is caused by a safety violation or by an unknown hazard, the financial consequences can adversely impact the financial stability of an injured victim and his or her family. Relief is available through the Ohio workers' compensation insurance program. Benefits may be claimed that will cover all medical expenses and a portion of lost wages. The wage-replacement package will be based on the injured worker's regular weekly wage.

Source: workerscompensation.com, "Ohio Metal Coating Plant Continues to Expose Workers to Splashing Acid and Other Hazards", Aug. 4, 2016

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