OSHA Safety Violations Endanger Workers
Workplace OSHA Safety Violations Lead to Serious Injuries
In 2017, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued over 6,000 citations related to workplace safety violations, many of which cited a lack of formal training program for employees working at heights, which presented fall hazards. With each workplace, the hazards are unique, however there are some clear rules and regulations that employers must adhere to in order to best protect their workers in safe working environment. Many injuries occurring at the workplace are the result of OSHA safety violations, including the following:
- Defective machine design
- Equipment malfunction
- Removal of a safe guard
- Poor equipment maintenance
- Unsafe plant design
- Ineffective training or supervision
- Misuse of equipment
- Defective machinery
- Improper lighting
- Inadequate ventilation
- Worker fatigue
- Operating equipment without certification
- Failure to provide protective equipment
Joe Lyon is an experienced Ohio catastrophic injury and product liability lawyer accepting workplace accident cases nationwide.
Most Common Workplace OSHA Safety Violations
- Lack of fall protection—many noted violations cited by OSHA stemmed from a lack of effective protective systems for construction workers working at height without proper safeguards.
- Toxic hazard communication—industries using potentially dangerous chemicals have a duty to educate workers about the dangers of toxic materials and outline plans to treat exposed employees.
- Dangerous ladders and scaffolding—scaffolding may present a fall hazard if not properly installed and maintained at work sites.
- Respiratory protection—it is too common for employers to neglect a respiratory protection plan for workers inhaling dangerous chemicals at the workplace.
- Powered industrial trucks—forklifts, handcarts and other machinery requires proper training and certification to limit the unsafe use in industrial settings.
- Machine guarding—safeguards and barriers may be removed by management and present a serious violation of safety standards.
- Electrical wiring methods—makeshift wiring can create fire and electrocution hazards.
- Emergency Response and Evacuation Plans—in high risk employment settings like construction sites, power plants, fracking sites and other industrial plants, it is crucial to have a well-implemented emergency response plan.
- Fire Protection—workplaces must be equipped with working smoke alarms and sprinkler systems.
- Gas Detection—smoke and carbon monoxide sensors are critical in saving lives in dangerous work areas.
- Workplace Ventilation—when using toxic chemicals in the workplace, the areas must be ventilated to protect employees.
Majority of Severe Worker Injuries in Heavy Industry
The most serious injuries at workplaces typically occur when either equipment malfunctions or proper safety measures are neglected. In the U.S., over 30,000 non-fatal work injuries are reported each year, including the following injuries:
Common industries affected by OSHA safety violations
- Fracking sites
- Utilities—power plants
- Transport—trucking and railway
- Manufacturing—chemical and rubber plants
- Oil & Gas Production and Refining
- Forestry and Agriculture
- Construction—commercial and road work
Recent OSHA Safety Violations
- Ajin USA, an auto parts suppliers, was investigated after a worker was crushed to death while clearing a sensor fault in a conveyor belt. The machine restarted, and the worker was trapped inside the machine. OSHA alleged that Ajin USA failed to use energy control procedures to prevent machinery from starting during maintenance and servicing. The company also exposed employees to crushing and amputation hazards as a result of improper machine guarding.
- Atlantic Drain Service, in Boston, MA, was the site of two worker deaths when a trench collapsed, breaking an adjacent fire hydrant line and instantly flooded the trench. The OSHA determined that the employer did not provide basic safeguards against collapse or offer employee training for hazards associated with trenching and excavation work.
- Great White Construction Inc. was fined by the OSHA when an inspector witnessed employees removing shingles and plywood sheeting from the roof of a building without using proper fall protection. The workers’ harnesses were not properly tied. Great White Construction was cited for failure to protect employees from fall hazards. The company also was cited for three repeat violations for failure to ensure employees wear eye protection while using nail guns.
- Arrow Plumbing in Missouri faced eight violations after inspectors determined that a worker was operating in an unprotected trench only one month after another worker died when a trench collapsed under similar conditions.
- Amsted Rail Company in Groveport, Ohio—a steel freight component manufacturer—was cited for multiple violations after an employee suffered a crushed leg while performing maintenance. An investigation uncovered numerous machine safety violations. The OSHA also conducted a second investigation after finding incidents of workers exposed to silica at amounts greater than the permissible exposure limit.
- Autoneum North America, an auto insulation supplier in Oregon, Ohio was cited after a worker’s arm was caught in a shredding machine, resulting in the amputation of the worker’s right hand and wrist. The OSHA cited the company for inadequate machine safety procedures.
- Milark Industries, an automobile, motorcycle and appliance part manufacturer in Mansfield, Ohio, was found to have a lack of adequate machine safeguards, which led to various injuries, including a worker who suffered the amputation of two fingers. Violations included bypassing safety devices during maintenance.
- Big Tex Trailer Manufacturing, a truck bed manufacturer, was fined after inspectors found that workers involved in spray painting and power coating operations did not undergo required medical evaluation and respirator fit testing.
- Prinz Grain & Feed was cited after a grain bin collapsed, engulfing and killing a worker. OSHA found that Prinz Grain & Feed failed to train workers in confined space entry, or warn of grain handling hazards.
- BWAY Corp., a manufacturer of rigid metal, plastic and hybrid containers, was investigated for four separate reports of employee injuries prompted by inadequate machine safety procedures. Three workers suffered amputations and another worker suffered two broken bones when machinery crushed his hand.
If you or a loved one has suffered a workplace accident injury, and have questions about the legal remedies available to improve quality of life and medical care, contact The Lyon Firm (800) 513-2403. You will speak directly with Mr. Lyon, and he will help you answer these critical questions.