OSHA Cites Aluminum Manufacturer for History of Safety Violations

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The New Jersey aluminum manufacturing company has been cited for over 50 safety violations since 2011.

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited a New Jersey aluminum manufacturing company, which apparently has a lengthy history of noncompliance with OSHA’s safety standards. This time, the company was cited for 51 safety and health violations. The company faces proposed penalties of $1.9 million. Since 2011, the agency reports that it has inspected the facility
eight times, cited the employer for 60 violations and has assessed $516,753 in total penalties. Work places that are in constant violation of health and safety regulations can create a dangerous work environment, and can cause injured employees to file a RI workers’ compensation lawsuit.

What Was This Company in Violation Of?

Inspectors with OSHA learned that two employees were hospitalized as a result of separate workplace accidents. The first incident occurred when employees got into a tank to drain residual sludge containing dehydrated sodium hydroxide, aluminum oxide and decomposed metal. After reporting to their supervisors that they were suffering chemical burns to their skin, employees were told to re-enter the tank where they suffered further injury. As a result, one employee required hospitalization.

The other incident occurred when a machine operator suffered a broken pelvis after being caught between unguarded moving parts of a metal fabrication machine. OSHA issued citations for several violations including failures to provide personal protective equipment, provide confined space training, provide workers with locks and hardware to lock out equipment being serviced or maintained and the lack of specific procedures for the use of blocking devices.

The company was also cited for other repeat violations such as fall hazards, lack of stair rails and machine guarding and electrical hazards. In addition, the company failed to require each incident/injury in its log, as required by law.

What If My Workplace Seems Unsafe?

The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 holds employers responsible for providing workers with safe and healthy conditions. Workers have the right under the law to report unsafe working conditions to OSHA. They could ask questions, get help with compliance assistance, file a complaint or report amputations, eye loss, workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or just about any situation that poses an imminent danger to workers. Employees can call the agency’s free hotline at (800) 321-6742 or go to the nearest OSHA office for help. The law prevents your employer from retaliating against you for reporting a safety violation. As such, we urge you to err on the side of caution and report a potential safety violation or dangerous work condition.

What Should I Do After Suffering a Workplace Injury?

If you have been injured on the job, there are a number of steps you can take to protect your rights. First, report the injury to your supervisor and/or employer immediately. Obtain a copy of the report for your own records. Also, be sure to get prompt medical attention, treatment and care for your injuries. Preserve as much evidence from the scene as possible including machinery or equipment that might have caused your injuries, photographs, physical evidence, etc. It is also quite important that you get the contact information of anyone who may have witnessed your accident.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Paul d’Oliveira
Attorney Paul d’Oliveira has been practicing personal injury and disability law for over 29 years. He started his personal injury law practice in 1989 with two offices in Fall River, MA and East Providence, RI. Today his firm has 15 offices in RI and Southeastern, MA.

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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.

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