Some employers refuse to take safety seriously. While employers have a lot of leeway when it comes to hiring and firing practices, there are many safety rules and regulations that most employers need to follow. The specific rules will depend on the employer’s industry — depending on the danger involved some industries are more heavily regulated.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is responsible for creating and enforcing many of these rules. When rules are violated, OSHA will issue citations and expect companies to fix the issues.
Recently, a New York company was fined for safety violations by OSHA. The company is a tire recycling firm. During an inspection in July 2013, OSHA found 16 serious violations. The company was fined $20,100 as a result.
A serious violation is one that the employer knew about or should have known about that could cause serious injury or death to a worker. In this case the violations included accumulation of flammable dust, using flammable materials in a tire buffer area and the use of portable electrical lamps in flammable areas, among others.
OSHA gave the company time to fix these violations in order to keep workers safe. However, the company failed to fix all of issues by the time OSHA returned. OSHA also says that new problems were discovered during the subsequent inspection in May 2014.
As a result of the company’s failure to fix the violations and the new violations, OSHA fined the company $160,280. The company now has 15 days to respond.
Workplace safety rules, like those present in this case are taken seriously by OSHA in order to keep New York workers safe. A workplace accident or workplace injury can be devastating for a worker. However, by carefully following safety regulations, injuries can be avoided and money can be saved.
Source: Rubber News, “OSHA slaps tire recycler with $160,000 fine,” Miles Moore, June 3, 2014