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OSHA finds worker's acid burns resulted from safety violation

An auto parts manufacturer in Ohio does not agree with the findings of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration after an inspection of the facility. However, the federal inspectors identified multiple safety hazards that could cause severe injuries, and in some cases, fatalities. OSHA cited the company for one willful safety violation and eight serious violations.

The inspection followed a report that OSHA received from a source not connected to the company. The report was about a workplace accident that resulted in third-degree burn injuries to an employee. The incident was allegedly never officially reported to authorities. When inspectors arrived at the facility, they immediately identified serious hazards and posted a notice to warn employees of imminent danger. It was determined that fall protection was not provided, nor did employees receive adequate protection to prevent chemical burns.

These two violations came into play when a machine operator suffered burns to his foot when he fell into a tank containing acid for etching in the unreported March incident. Further violations included the lack of safety protocols in a program for confined space management that compromised the safety of workers who routinely cleaned the inside of tanks. Employees were reportedly also unprotected against dangerous working parts of machines while they were doing maintenance or servicing.

Regardless of the company's denial of being responsible for the safety violation that caused this worker's injuries, he remains entitled to pursue financial compensation. Benefits claims may be filed with the Ohio workers' compensation insurance system for coverage of medical expenses and lost wages. Some injured employees choose to utilize the services of skilled attorneys who are experienced in this field of the law to pursue compensation for them.

Source: bna.com, "Auto Parts Company Cited After Worker Falls Into Acid Tank", Christopher Brown, Sept. 14, 2016

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