Employers in Ohio must provide workplace environments that are free of known safety hazards that could cause harm to employees. However, some business owners prefer to avoid the costs of installing safety devices, in favor of more satisfactory bottom lines. Industrial workers are particularly vulnerable when equipment and machines lack safety devices to prevent accidents that could cause permanent disability.

One such employer is the owner of the factory that manufactures the footballs used by the National Football League. Not only did the Occupational Safety and Health Administration identify three such safety violations during an inspection in February, but similar violations were found again in June. Only this time, the investigation followed an amputation injury.

OSHA reported that all the violations involved the company’s failure to install lockout/tag-out devices to protect employees during maintenance and repairs. On June 6, a worker suffered a finger amputation when a machine unexpectedly became active while being repaired. The safety agency proposed fines of over $65,000 for the six safety violations.

Regardless of the amount a company has to pay in penalties, it can never replace a lost body part. Any Ohio victim of a workplace injury that causes permanent disability will have to go through the complicated administrative and legal procedures to obtain workers’ compensation benefits. Fortunately, help is available from an attorney who is experienced in navigating such claims. Along with coverage of medical expenses, permanent total or partial disability benefits may also be awarded to make up for lost income.These benefits will depend on the severity of the injury and the victim’s ability to earn an income despite the physical limitations.

Source: toledoblade.com, “OSHA levies fines against Wilson football plant, lawn-care contractor“, Sept. 19, 2017