A recent string of work accident in Georgia led to numerous safety violations and thousands in fines.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued a popular beauty products manufacturer, House of Cheatham, Inc., 16 separate safety and health citations. The citations are the result of a 2010 inspection at its Stone Mountain facility which revealed that the company was not meeting recommended safety standards. The company is facing proposed penalties totaling more than $46,000.
Our Atlanta personal injury lawyers understand that employers are expected to keep their employees safe on the job by providing safe working conditions, regardless of the place of employment. We would like you to know that it doesn’t matter whether you were responsible for the accident that caused your injuries; if you are injured at work for any reason, you may seek damages under the state’s workers’ compensation program.
OSHA will issue a “serious violation” when there is substantial probability that an employer knows, or should have known, about a hazard that could cause death or serious injury. House of Cheatham, Inc. received 11 serious citations including the failure to properly store oxygen and acetylene cylinders and failure to have lockout/tagout procedures to prevent accidental start-up of a machine.
An “other-than-serious” violation is issued when a hazard has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but would probably not cause serious physical harm or death. The company also received 5 other-than-serious citations, including failure to ensure that employees wearing respirators and failure to provide retraining for employees wearing those respirators.
Another company, Aluminum Finishing, LLC, received 18 citations for various hazards after 2010 inspections. OSHA conducted a first inspection in 2008 and a follow-up inspection in October of 2010. The company was inspected after complaints reported alleged safety hazards. The company is currently facing penalties of more than $125,800, according to an OSHA press release.
A “willful violation” is issued when an employer demonstrates a plain indifference to an employee’s safety and health or intentional disregard for the requirements of the law.
The company was handed one willful citation for exposing employees to various fall hazards. They were billed nearly $54,000 for the dangerous condition.
A “repeat violation” is issued when an employer has previously been cited for the same or a similar violation of a rule, order, standard or regulation at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. The company was issued 6 repeat citations costing them more than $43,000 for failing to have employees use fall protection. Fall protection is required when employees are working above dip tanks. They also failed to provide sanitary conditions for workers, failed to guard live electrical equipment and failed to cover open troughs to prevent tripping. The company received their repeat violations after having been initially cited in a 2008 inspection.
Being injured on the job can have can affect your life in a number of ways. Not only will you have to fight for your rights as an employee to have medical expenses covered, but you could also face lost wages at work. The U.S. Department of Labor reports that more than 1.2 million employees missed work last year because of an on-the-job accident causing lost wages.
The lawyers at the Law Offices of J. Franklin Burns, P.C., have the experience to help you gain the benefits you are entitled to under the Georgia workers’ compensation program. Call for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call 1-404-303-7770.