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Manufacturer cited for 24 health and safety violations

A Pennsylvania manufacturer that produced truck bodies for a variety of large companies has been cited for two dozen health and safety violations by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

While it is every employer's responsibility to provide a safe workplace for their employees free from unreasonable risks and hazards, OSHA acts as a watchdog, enforcing workplace safety violations. The agency both investigates workplace accidents after they occur as well as performing inspections to ensure compliance in attempt to prevent serious workplace injuries before they occur.

In this instance the 24 health and safety violations have resulted in a suggested fine of $93,000. While the threat of a fine should certainly be an incentive for employers to maintain a safe working environment, protecting the health and safety of workers should be reason enough for a company to take the necessary safety precautions.

OSHA cited the manufacturer for a number of violations. One of these was a repeat violation carrying a $30,000 fine all on its own. The company had allegedly failed to provide protective screens around welding areas. The company had received a similar violation several years ago.

The other violations ranged from a lack of head protection for employers working under heavy materials, fire extinguisher related violations, and a failure to provide training on the dangers of exposure to toxic chemicals.

A spokesperson for OSHA described the situation," "The size of the penalties and the number of violations is an indication of the gravity of the hazards at this facility. This employer is putting workers at risk by exposing them to electrical, amputations and fire hazards."

Source: OSHA, "Pennsylvania manufacturer cited by US Department of Labor's OSHA for safety and health violations at Rydal, Ga., plant; $93,000 proposed in fines," Jan. 25, 2012

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