The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently issued 13 citations against a Pennsylvania company for alleged failure to comply with workplace safety regulations. Five citations were reportedly for repeat violations and proposed fines exceed $75,000, after an OSHA inspection last July at the firm's Warminster facility that employs 37 people.
An OSHA official said the inspection was conducted as part of the agency's program designed to identify hazardous conditions before a workplace accident occurs. The OSHA representative also disclosed that slightly more than $60,000 of the proposed fines are for alleged repeat violations that involve electrical hazards, including improper electrical equipment usage, open electric boxes, and blocked electrical panels.
Because the company had previously received citations for similar violations, more recent electrical hazards are treated as repeat infractions. Pursuant to OSHA guidelines, a repeat violation occurs when any facility of the same company is cited for an identical or similar rule, standard, regulation, or order within the previous five years. Besides the repeat violations, OSHA cited the company for eight serious violations that involve deficient controls of hazardous energy and electricity.
Specific hazardous conditions in the serious category included exposure of live components operating at more than 50 volts and flexible cord damage. OSHA deems a safety violation as serious if a hazard that the employer should reasonably had been aware of substantially increases likelihood of death or severe personal injury to workers. Employees who become injured or ill due to hazardous working conditions in any industry may be able to obtain financial redress by pursuing a workers' compensation claim. A workers' compensation attorney may be able to help an injured employee prepare a claim that could include reimbursement of medical expenses and lost wages.
Source: WDAZ, "Philadelphia Macaroni cited by US Labor Department's OSHA; fines total more than $75,000", February 07, 2014