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OSHA cites Ohio plastics firm for injuries, poor safety record

Ohioans injured in workplace accidents often wonder if the incident could have been prevented and their injury avoided. Both the State of Ohio and the United States Department of Labor maintain programs to ensure that employers use all reasonable safety precautions to protect their employees against workplace injuries. A recent Occupational Safety and Health Administration citation of a plastics manufacturing firm in New Philadelphia, OH shows that some employers do not pay sufficient attention to prevention of workplace accidents.

OSHA has issued a citation to Lauren Manufacturing after it completed an investigation of a second debilitating injury suffered by one of its employees in less than 18 months. The investigation was triggered by an accident in which a pneumatic bench cutter severed the operator’s finger as she was cutting rubber material. OSHA’s inspectors found that the employer had failed to adjust the machine’s safeguards, which are intended to prevent the worker’s hands from contacting the cutter’s operating parts.

The OSHA inspectors also cited the company for a number of safety violations, including four repeated and six serious violations. The violations include the following:

  • Failure to train temporary workers in how to isolate machines from electrical power (known as “lockout” or “tag out”) during repair and maintenance
  • Failure to develop proper lockout/tag out procedures
  • Failure to provide protective footwear and adequate personnel protective equipment
  • Exposure of workers to live electrical outlets.

OSHA also noted that the firm had a history of past safety violations. The firm was assessed a fine of $274,934. The firm has 15 business days to file objections to the citation.

Any worker in Ohio who is injured on the job is entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits, regardless of the cause of the accident. The State of Ohio’s Bureau of Workers’ Compensation has adopted many measures designed to simplify the claims process but, even with these aids, obtaining benefits can be difficult and frustrating. Anyone who has suffered a workplace injury may wish to consult an attorney who specializes in workers’ compensation law. Such a consultation can provide a useful overview of the case and an estimate of the likelihood of obtaining an award of benefits.

Source: WorkersCompensation.com, “Plastics Manufacturer Cited After Second Worker Suffers Severe Injury In Less Than 18 Months at Ohio Plant,” Dec. 29, 2016

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