The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited a Pennsylvania business with $140,000 in total fines, due to 21 health and safety violations. The inspection occurred in a response to a complaint of the hazards.
The employer had been cited for two of the violations previously within the past five years, involving proper guarding for ladders and platforms. By not correcting these hazards, the company was knowingly putting their employees at risk and actively choosing not to pursue correction
There were also 15 'serious' violations, including gas and electrical hazards which could cause death or serious physical harm to the employees working in that environment. In addition there were four 'other-than-serious' violations for failure to post OSHA forms on injuries and illnesses. The company has 15 days to comply or seek a conference with the OSHA area director.
This company knew they were operating an unsafe workplace for their employees, as they had been cited just in 2010 for the violations which are now 'repeat.' By choosing to not remedy those problems, the company showed serious negligence in their respect and care for their employees. OSHA emphasizes that all workers have the right to a safe and healthful work environment, and strive to provide that for all employees.
Employees can contact OSHA to report hazardous work conditions to prompt an investigation. This can act to prevent workplace accidents, but if they occur, employees may face confusion about their rights and what benefits they may be entitled to. Working with an attorney who specializes in workers' compensation can be a great help in this time of need.
Source: OSHA, "US Labor Department's OSHA cites Birdsboro, Pa., company for exposing workers to safety and health hazards; proposed fines total $140,000" Aug. 13, 2012