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OSHA's citation for amputation hazards contested by Ohio plant

Industrial workers in Ohio whose employers disregard employee safety face numerous hazards every day. When the company fails to comply with the regulations that are prescribed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, dangers such as contact with unguarded equipment pose amputation and other threats. The aftermath of such exposure led to a citation that OSHA issued to the Springfield plant of Dole.

Reportedly, the proposed penalty was issued following the completion of an investigation into an incident that occurred at the plant last fall. Dole officials said the company contests the allegations that it exposed a worker to hazards that could cause amputation injuries. However, OSHA responded that the case would remain open.

While scant information is available about the specific circumstances that led to OSHA's investigation, one of the primary hazards in industrial facilities involves exposure to dangerous equipment. Equipment must be fitted with lockout/tagout devices to prevent unexpected activation while maintenance or cleaning operations occur. Furthermore, accessible working parts of machines must have safety guards installed that can prevent employees making contact while equipment is energized.

Ohio workers who have suffered workplace injuries after being exposed to amputation hazards can proceed with the filing of claims for workers' compensation benefits, even if their employers are contesting OSHA citations. The workers' compensation program is a no-fault system that covers medical expenses and lost wages of injured employees regardless of who was at fault. Those who cannot return to their regular jobs after an amputation might have access to vocational rehabilitation to learn new skills and continue earning an income. The assistance of an experienced workers' compensation attorney is a good choice in order to pursue recovery of all applicable benefits.

Source: daytondailynews.com, "OSHA: Dole workers in Springfield exposed to 'amputation hazard'", Matt Sanctis, Feb. 6, 2018

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