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New York plant fined by OSHA for violations -- appeal likely

In New York, workers safety is taken seriously by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The agency works to ensure that businesses are following safety regulations in order to keep workers safe. These regulations outline the types of materials that workers can be exposed to, how much safety equipment should be provided and requires training for many employees. While New York employers may find these regulations burdensome, they do help to keep workers safe.

When OSHA discovers that required safety regulations are being broken, the agency has the ability to fine the business. Recently, a meat processing plant in New York has come under OSHA's scrutiny. According to OSHA, a Tyson Foods Inc. plant has been exposing workers to unnecessary risk. Tyson is the nation's largest meat producer and says that safety is one of the company's values.

Despite Tyson's claims, OSHA says that the plant exposed workers to potential falls, burns and electrocution. Therefore, the agency has fined the company $121,720. Again, the company disputes the claims and can file an appeal within 15 days.

While OSHA may be helpful in getting compliance from businesses, it cannot help workers who have already been injured by workplace accidents. When employers refuse to comply with OSHA requirements, accidents can happen. In these cases, workers' compensation may be available for injured workers. Workers' compensation can help to cover expenses relating to an accident including any subsequent disability. These expenses can include medical costs and lost wages.

By filing for workers' compensation, workers can make sure that they are not left to deal with injuries completely on their own. Instead, they can have the financial support they need to make it through a difficult time.

Source: The Republic, "OSHA alleges safety hazards at Tyson Foods Inc. plant in Buffalo, NY, proposes $121K fine," Nov. 19, 2013

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