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Workers rely on employers to follow workplace safety regulations

It is not uncommon for Missouri workers in various industries to be concerned about their safety while they are at work. Regardless of their awareness of safety regulations, it is up to company owners to ensure safe workplace surroundings. The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires employers to follow the prescribed rules related to workplace safety.

A commercial industrial facility in another state was recently cited for several violations following a fire that broke out six months ago. OSHA found that the blaze was caused by titanium dust that settled on the surface of a workbench that was inappropriate for working with titanium. In addition, the dust collection system did not have adequate controls for fire and explosion eventualities. OSHA found that employees who were working with chemicals that are hazardous were not informed about the potential dangers and were they trained how to operate the fire extinguishers.

OSHA also found that the areas where workers handled flammable liquids lacked any form of fire safeguards or sprinklers. Elsewhere in the facility, it was found that workers were exposed to being caught in the milling machines due to faulty or bypassed interlocking systems to this were faulty. OSHA determined that workers in this facility were exposed to fire or explosion hazards, electrocution and amputations. In addition, illnesses caused by hazardous chemicals presented another danger. All these violations point to the company owner disregarding workplace safety regulations.

Missouri workers who have suffered injuries that were caused by a lack of workplace safety may be facing high medical costs, along with financial difficulties due to an absence from work. Workers are entitled to claim benefits from the workers' compensation insurance fund to cover medical expenses. In addition, a percentage of lost income will typically be paid. Depending on the type and severity of the injury, a worker may receive additional financial relief for a disability that was brought about by the workplace accident.

Source: NBC Connecticut, "Investigation Into Vernon Industrial Fire Reveals Safety Violations: OSHA", Ari Mason, Nov. 19, 2014

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