Following a fatal workplace accident, a New York plastics plant has been investigated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The fatal accident occurred on March 22 when a company truck driver was hit and killed by a forklift. In the investigation, OSHA claims to have found 16 serious violations at the plant. These violations include an inoperable backup alarm on the forklift, failure to provide proper handrails on stairways, failure to maintain proper stairway angle, not providing slip-resistant rungs on latters, failing to clear surfaces of combustible dust and others.
In its report, OSHA claims that the fatal workplace accident could have been avoided had the company created proper safety regulations to deal with foot traffic within the area and if the equipment had been properly maintained. As a result of these violations, OSHA has proposed $67,000 in fines for the company.
The company, on the other hand, has contested these findings. Following the report by OSHA, the company filed the necessary documents to appeal OSHA’s ruling. The plant says that only two of the supposed violations had any connection to the March 22 accident. The others, the plant claims are totally baseless. According to the plant, it prides itself on its safety record, and has been able to go more than a year without a time loss accident.
OSHA is responsible for making sure that New York businesses follow safety regulations that have been enacted to keep workers safe. While a New York business may contest OSHA’s findings, that doesn’t mean that the company is any less responsible in the case of workplace injuries or an accident. In fact, in many cases New York employers are financially responsible when workers are hurt.
Source: Plastics News, “OSHA cites National Pipe & Plastics for fatal accident,” Frank Antosiewicz, Oct. 3, 2013