An Alabama steel company is feeling the effects of OSHA's national emphasis program to eradicate workplace-related amputations. The company has been slapped with more than $117,000 in proposed fines for serious and repeated worker safety violations. An inspection done earlier in the year by the agency found a total of 15 safety violations; nine of which were in the serious category and two in the repeat-violation category.
A safety violation which is defined as serious is one in which there is a substantial probability that death or serious harm could occur. Key to that definition is OSHA's determination that the hazard which the agency found at the workplace is one that the employer either knew about or should have known about. The nine serious violations found at the steel company accounted for almost half of the proposed penalties.
The two repeat violations found carry a proposed penalty of more than $60,000. A repeat violation is defined as one for which the employer has previously been cited within the past five years. In this case, two of the steel company's violations were previously cited in July 2009.
Among the nine serious worker safety violations found were circumstances of employees exposed to rotating parts of machinery and not having been provided with personal protective gear or screens. Should an employee ever be injured on-the-job, workers' compensation laws in Alabama can provide valuable insurance coverage. If it appears that an employer is not fully cooperating with an injured worker, it can be in the best interests of the employee to seek the assistance of those who have a firm grasp of all of the issues relating to effectively obtaining workers' compensation benefits.
osha.gov, "Hanna Steel Corp. in Northport, Ala., cited for repeat, serious safety violations by US Department of Labor's OSHA; $117,500 in proposed fines," Michael D'Aquino and Lindsay Williams, Aug. 7, 2013