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.
According to OSHA, a 64-year-old worker in the factory was engaged in equipment maintenance on Dec. 5 when he was struck by a moving machine part. Energy to the machine was not isolated during the maintenance procedure, and the man suffered a pelvic fracture. Inspectors determined that the necessary lockout/tagout devices were not fitted as required.
Furthermore, OSHA launched a second investigation only days later after the agency received a complaint from workers about lead exposure at the factory. Reportedly, several safety violations were identified, including those related to the lack of engineering controls and also allowing employees to eat in areas with known lead exposure. OSHA also revealed that the company’s facilities nationwide have received over 250 citations for safety violations over the past 10 years.
Any Ohio worker who has suffered a workplace injury, regardless of the type of safety violation, can pursue financial coverage of medical expenses and lost income. Industrial accidents are often catastrophic, and victims typically need more than the basic benefits to assist them during long-term care and possible permanent disabilities. With the support and guidance of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney, the maximum benefits may be secured.
Source: ehstoday.com, “OSHA: Republic Steel Exposed Employees to Excessive Lead Levels“, Stefanie Valentic, May 24, 2017