When the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's final ruling on respirable crystalline silica becomes effective later this year, it will save more than 600 lives nationwide per year, says the agency. Furthermore, it is estimated that the improved safety requirements will prevent over 900 healthy workers each year from contracting silicosis. In Ohio and elsewhere, it is a debilitating occupational disease that can cause permanent impairment.
One of the most important safety regulations for industrial facilities is the protection of workers against making contact with moving machine parts. Failure to ensure that functional lockout/tagout devices are in place is a significant safety violation that frequently leads to catastrophic injuries. Following a December incident at an automotive steel manufacturer in Ohio, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently completed an investigation and proposed a fine of almost $280,000.
The U.S. Chemical Safety Board is concerned about the number of workers that are victims of workplace injuries involving hazardous chemicals. In Ohio and throughout the country, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration prescribes strict regulations for the handling of chemicals, and every safety violation that federal inspectors identify could result in a citation and a penalty. When it comes to working with chemicals, prevention is always better than cure.
Company owners in Ohio and elsewhere have a significant role to play in protecting employees from work-related injuries and illnesses. Whenever workers are in areas in which known hazards exist, employers must provide them with the necessary protective gear and remove the hazards if possible. Any safety violation can affect multiple employees and lead to serious injuries or illnesses.
Ohio workers who are working in industries where they are exposed to hazards such as excessive noise may want to make sure they have regular medical evaluations to keep as evidence if they ever need to pursue claims for compensation. Excessive noise can cause permanent disability, but proving that work environments caused the condition could be challenging. This is evident in a worker's struggle to get compensation in another state.
While the state-regulated workers' compensation insurance program covers most workers in Ohio, not all claims for benefits are authorized for payment of compensation. The challenging claims are often those involving occupational illnesses rather than injuries such as fractured bones that are more obvious. When a worker suffers an airborne illness, it may not even result from a safety violation by the employer.
Interesting information was revealed by research that was done by the Ohio State University. It relates to the effect that job satisfaction can have on health. Although employers are not responsible for job satisfaction, they are responsible for workplace safety. Employees who are exposed to hazardous work environments in which their safety is disregarded may experience the consequences of always worrying about potential permanent impairment or worse.
Every worker in Ohio, regardless of the industry in which he or she is employed, has a right to a safe workplace environment. Business owners who fail to protect their employees against known safety hazards may have to pay the price. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigates all incidents in which fatalities or amputations occur, and may launch inspections when other serious injuries are suffered. A safety violation typically incurs a citation and monetary penalty.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has added an Ohio armament company to its list of severe violators. This follows the agency's determination that the business owner had taken no action to rectify safety hazards identified during an inspection in November 2014. During a follow-up visit in November 2015, the agency found that every safety violation previously identified still existed.
It is unacceptable for employers to withhold information about life-threatening dangers from workers. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently completed an investigation into the death of an employee of an Ohio company that refurbishes bath tubs. Investigators determined that a safety violation caused the fatality.