Industrial workers in Ohio seem to be putting their lives on the line for employers who prioritize profit over safety. A recent report about penalties issued to businesses in northwest Ohio shows that many workers face hazards that could cause permanent impairment. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration revealed the names of six companies that were fined after inspections that were carried out from August to October last year.
The businesses that were inspected included two parts manufacturers, a roofing company, pipeline business, rubber products manufacturer and a rail car repair yard. Most of the citations were for serious safety violations and some even repeated violations which shows that employee safety is often disregarded. The total of the six fines exceeded $290,000.
The violations identified by OSHA’s compliance inspectors included the lack of safeguards and lockout/tagout devices to protect workers from making contact with moving parts of equipment. Also, inadequate or no personal protective equipment that ranged from the failure to provide hard hats to the lack of respiratory equipment and fall protection. One of the citations was for the failure to provide Hepatitis B vaccinations to protect workers from infections by blood-borne pathogens.
Fortunately, injured workers are entitled to seek financial assistance from the Ohio workers’ compensation insurance system. The program typically pays benefits to cover medical expenses and also a percentage of lost wages. Victims of permanent impairment may be eligible for vocational rehabilitation to learn new skills that will enable them to do different jobs. The administrative and legal proceedings of the claims process can be complicated, but the support and guidance of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney are available.
Source: toledoblade.com, “OSHA fines 6 companies in northwest Ohio for violations“, Jon Chavez, Feb. 16, 2018