Many Louisiana industrial workers would agree that their jobs expose them to injury often enough without their employers contributing to the problem. This is why the Occupational Safety and Health Administration establishes rules and regulations that employers are required to follow in order to reduce the known hazards to their employees. Every industry accepts that certain risks come with the job, but when a company is made aware of safety hazards and continues to exhibit a flagrant disregard for its workers, industrial accidents are bound to happen.
An out-of-state OSHA representative recently stated that employers fail their employees when they do not fix prior safety violations. This is because they fall short of their obligation to provide a healthy and safe work environment to workers. This is why OSHA recently issued citations against a metal plating company it had previously inspected and cited in 2011. This time the company was cited for eight repeat violations — some of which are considered serious.
Employees in the Illinois plant are not being given proper safety equipment or the training needed in order to safely work with the chemicals used at the plant. Further, they are exposed to hazards from electricity, metals and hazardous chemicals. There is also no program to reduce noise pollution.
Unfortunately, OSHA’s citations may not always effectively reduce the chances of industrial accidents causing serious injury or death to employees. Workers’ compensation benefits are available to injured workers and their families in the cases of death. However, as would be the case here in Louisiana, if it can be shown that gross negligence occurred because the company willfully ignored safety hazards, more action may need to be taken. A review of this particular case by an attorney familiar with this area of law could help determine the best course of action under the circumstances.
Source: ohsonline.com, “OSHA: Metal Plating Company Exposes Workers to Noise, Toxic Metal Hazards“, Dec. 17, 2015