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New York grocery store to be fined for workplace accidents

Workplace safety regulations have been enacted in New York for a reason. These laws are there to keep New Yorkers safe from preventable harm in the workplace. In many situations, if these rules were properly enforced by employers, more New Yorkers would avoid workplace accidents and injuries each year.

Sadly, time and time again, New York employers ignore federal and state safety standards. They put their bottom lines ahead of the safety of their workers and people get hurt. Employers should understand, however, that they can face serious penalties if they choose to ignore workplace safety rules.

In one recent New York case, for example, a Wegmans supermarket chain may be fined for workplace safety violations. According to reports, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is proposing a fine of $188,200 because of recurring safety violations at a store's bakery.

The fine, OSHA says, comes after two employees of the store were injured in separate accidents. In one case, a worker suffered a burn from a steam valve. In the other case, a worker had been cleaning a conveyor when the accident occurred. In this instance, OSHA claims that a worker lost a fingertip in the accident. The store, however, questions the severity of both injuries and claims that the workers have both returned to work.

OSHA claims that these accidents could have been avoided if safety standards had been followed. They say the site repeatedly ignored rules meant to keep workers safe.

No matter how much a workplace is fined following a workplace accident, the person who suffers the most in these situations is the injured employee. That person has to face the physical and emotional damage. Thankfully, these workers often qualify for workers' compensation, which can help ensure that a worker receives just financial compensation for the injuries suffered at work.

Source: Syracuse.com, "Wegmans hit with $188K in fines after employee injuries at bakery," Kevin Tampone, September 11, 2015

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