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Safety violation: Language barrier threatens glass workers

Following several previous posts about the safety risks to which employees in Ohio's glass manufacturing facilities are exposed, a language barrier was recently identified as a major problem in the Fuyao Glass America factory. Inspectors with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration have found one safety violation after another during previous inspections, and still, the workers feel their health and safety are in jeopardy. On a recent Thursday evening, they voiced their concerns to the local city council.

The seven Fuyao employees who conveyed their concerns to the council emphasized their wish for the company's success because it brought hope for prosperity to Moraine. However, when voicing their grievances, they said no one expected that the cultural and language barrier would threaten the safety of workers. They hope to find remedies that will allow them to help make a success of the business that is now their livelihood.

The Chinese owners have interpreters stationed in some factory areas, but in other sectors, the workers say they have no way of making the supervisors understand what they need. The facility's safety manager expressed his frustration over the inability of the management and employees to communicate. The multiple risks include chemical and electrical hazards and the lack of emergency exits that will trap workers inside in the event of a fire.

The company is fighting previous safety violation fines exceeding $200,000, and OSHA is already busy with another investigation after the agency received more complaints. Victims of workplace injuries at any facility in Ohio can pursue financial assistance with medical expenses and lost wages by filing workers' compensation benefits claims. To help with the process, they are entitled to seek the help of an experienced workers' comp attorney.

Source: wdtn.com, "Fuyao workers take concerns to Moraine City council", Ethan Fitzgerald, March 23, 2017

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