Instances of illnesses, injuries and sometimes death among workers are likely when a workplace is unsafe due to employer negligence. The federal government has charged the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration with the oversight of on-the-job safety.
Victims of job-related accidents are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Proof of injury or illness related to a job determines whether benefits are approved or denied. Sometimes the connection between an injury or death and an employer’s careless is easy to make.
OSHA recently cited a Wisconsin iron foundry for safety violations. Grede Wisconsin Subsidiaries LLC — part of Grede Holdings LLC — is one of more than 20 international facilities. The Berlin facility that was cited for more than $56,000 in penalties employs 3,000 workers.
Federal officials were at Grede to see if the company had improved its safety standards following a spring 2010 inspection. The iron foundry was determined to be in violation of nine safety rules, including two repeat violations the company apparently had not corrected since the previous OSHA inspection.
The employer still had grinders without safety guards and electrical boxes without protective covers. OSHA defines a repeat violation as any safety problems that reoccur within five years. The repeated safety mistake might be found at a business where the original inspection took place or might be discovered at another facility owned by the same company.
The remaining safety violations at Grede were described by federal inspectors as serious. Inspectors found improper machine guards, a crane that was unsafe to operate and unsecured platforms where workers easily could fall.
Serious safety offenses are cited when a work environment is so unsafe that employee injuries and death are highly probable. The foundry was faulted for electrical violations, including operation of equipment near puddles of water.
Companies that fail to meet safety standards endanger employees, but workplace injuries are not exclusive to negligent companies. An attorney who specializes in workers’ compensation can interpret the laws that affect a benefits claim.
Source: workerscompensation.com, “Wisconsin Foundry Demonstrates a Lack of Committment to Workers’ Well being,” Nov. 15, 2012