The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is tasked with assuring that employees have safe and healthful working conditions. This is done by providing education, training, outreach and assistance to employers and employees.
A Pennsauken company that manufactures aluminum parts is currently facing $1.9 million in fines assessed by OSHA after two employees were injured in workplace accidents. The federal safety agency has accused the company of 51 health and safety violations at the company's River Road plant.
When OSHA announced the fines levied against the company, they said that Aluminum Shapes has "a long history of noncompliance" when it comes to safety for the 400 workers at the plant.
Since 2011, the company has accrued over a half a million dollar in penalties for 60 safety violations. According to the company, though, it takes safety in the workplace "extremely seriously." The company also alluded to the new OSHA fee structure and says that it "results in higher fine amounts and unfair media attention even as conditions improve."
The two workplace accidents occurred this year. Several workers reported that they suffered chemical burns after they went inside a tank to drain off a sludge. That sludge contained aluminum oxide, decomposed metal and sodium hydroxide. Even after they left the tank, OSHA says they "were directed to re-enter the tank, where they suffered further chemical injuries, resulting in the hospitalization of one employee."
The other incident involved a machine operator who was "caught between the unguarded moving parts of a metal fabrication machine." He suffered a broken pelvis.
If you feel your employer does not follow OSHA standards when it comes to workplace safety or you fear retribution if you report an employer's inactions, an attorney can help.
Source: courierpostonline.com, "Pennsauken firm faces $1.9M in safety fines," Jim Walsh, July 21, 2017