There are many things that used to be acceptable in the past, but have changed over time. This includes the safety regulations in place to protect workers from workplace accidents, injuries and illnesses in New York. Over time, as side effects have become apparent, certain materials have been treated as hazardous. One of these materials is asbestos.
While asbestos used to be a common building material, after awhile its’ obvious health concerns caused the material to be severely restricted. When proper precautions are not taken, asbestos can cause serious respiratory illnesses including mesothelioma – a serious type of cancer – and asbestosis. Therefore, the government has developed a series of safety regulations that must be followed when workers could potentially be exposed to asbestos. Despite the obvious safety concerns, some businesses still don’t take these safety regulations seriously.
Recently, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has fined Ford for violations at a New York factory. In this case, OSHA claims to have found eight violations for asbestos related exposure. According to OSHA, a pipefitter was exposed to asbestos at the plant as he worked on a steam pipe. Furthermore, OSHA claims that the company failed to properly restrict employees from areas where they could come in contact with asbestos. Finally, the plant failed to provide the proper respiratory protection to employees when they were working with a material that contained asbestos. As a result of these violations, OSHA has fined Ford $41,800.
When a worker suffers a workplace illness, such as those caused by exposure to asbestos, the effects can be devastating. While an OSHA investigation can prevent future accidents from occurring in a workplace, it does little for those who have already suffered. Workers’ compensation, on the other hand, can provide workers with the financial support they need to recover from a workplace accident, workplace injury or illness.
Source: WIVB, “Ford plant cited with OSHA violations,” Nancy Sanders, July 17, 2013