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OSHA fines growing business over safety regulation violations

Every New York workplace has the responsibility to ensure its employees are kept safe and to minimize the risk of workplace injuries. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is a division of the United States Department of Labor and is responsible for making sure safety regulations are created and enforced.

One such situation where OSHA has had to be involved is the recent violations found at Agro Farma's quickly growing New York manufacturing plant. At this plant, OSHA found 34 different violations of federal safety standards. Any one of these violations could have easily led to serious injury in a workplace accident.

These violations included a wide range of safety failings. There was unguarded manufacturing equipment, wet floors, exposed moving parts and electrical hazards. There was also a lack of proper warnings throughout the facility. These missing warnings included warning of electrical dangers, of hazardous chemicals and of confined spaces. Furthermore, employees lacked proper safety training and protective gear. Additionally, employees were exposed to extreme noise levels which ultimately led to unreported hearing loss.

These violations are very dangerous. In fact, OSHA classified 33 of the 34 violations as being serious. Serious violations are those violations where "there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known."

According to Agro Farma, the company has grown from five employees to over 1,200 since 2005. However, this is no excuse for safety violations. Every company, big or small, struggling or successful is responsible for keeping its employees safe. If they fail to do so, OSHA will step in. Currently, Agro Farma maintains it is working with OSHA to fix these violations. OSHA has proposed $178,000 in fines.

Source: WKTV, "OSHA cites Agro Farma for 34 violations of workplace safety and health standards; proposes $178,000 in fines," March 14, 2012

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