Every employee wants to go to work and return home safely each night. Furthermore, no employer wants or anticipates their employees getting hurt. Unfortunately, workplace accidents still happen despite everyone’s best intentions. When an employee is injured at work they will often qualify for workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation provides payments to the injured worker that covers lost wages, medical expenses and pain and suffering caused by the workplace accident.
In an attempt reduce the number of accidents, injured workers and workers’ compensation claims, New York State and the federal government have passed safety regulations to which employers must adhere. These laws cover a variety of workplace safety issues in every occupational field. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is the federal agency responsible for ensuring that these safety laws are being followed by employers.
OSHA creates and enforces regulations for businesses. It will also inspect businesses to ensure compliance. If an employer does not comply with safety regulations then OSHA can issue fines to that employer. The employer can also lose business licenses for violations.
One New York employer was recently fined by OSHA. According to OSHA, the company, which manufactures hair care products, was recently inspected. During the inspection, OSHA found 44 serious safety violations. A serious violation is one that has a substantial possibility of death or serious bodily harm to a worker.
At this plant, the violations included exit doors that were blocked, unguarded moving machines, untrained employees working with electrical hazards and poor safety training and plans.
OSHA issued a $233,000 fine for the violations and gave the company 15 days to fix the violations or to appeal the ruling. This inspection and fine will hopefully make this business safer for employees.
Source: Insurance Journal, “Upstate N.Y. Plant Hit With $233K in OSHA Fines,” June 14, 2012