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Company risks workplace injuries -- fined by OSHA

There are often stories in the news about food safety. New York residents want the food that they eat to be safe and healthy; nor do they want to get sick by eating food that hasn't been prepared correctly. However, very few people likely think about the safety of the workers that help in making that food. In today's world, many foods are processed in factories that are run by workers -- many of whom are at risk for workplace injuries.

Recently, nationally known Schwan's Global Supply Chain has been fined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for workplace safety violations. According to OSHA, these violations put workers at risk of workplace injuries. Schwan's products include desserts sold under the name Mrs. Smith's and Red Baron Pizza. The company employees 14,000 people nationwide.

In this case, OSHA fined the company $185,700 for violations at one manufacturing plant in another state. At this plant, 494 workers were employed -- many through temporary staffing agencies. According to investigators, employees were subjected to excessive noise levels which could be damaging to the workers. Furthermore, OSHA says that some of the machines were unguarded and employees did not receive training on how to work with ammonia -- a chemical used in refrigeration.

The temporary staffing agencies involved in sending employees to this plant were also fined -- $58,500 and $20,160 respectively.

Workers that are exposed to dangerous situations are likely to be involved in life changing workplace accidents. These accidents can lead to injuries that leave workers severely injured. These injuries can take years away from the person's life and reduce the person's quality of life. Compensation may be available to help the worker, but this money can never replace what the worker has lost.

Source: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "OSHA fines frozen foods firm $185,700 for violations at Atlanta facility," Fran Jeffries, March 12, 2014

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