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OSHA cites auto parts maker for disregarding workplace safety

Employees working in industrial facilities typically face many safety hazards, regardless of what is manufactured at the plant. In its quest to prevent workers' injuries, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration prescribes safety regulations for every known hazard. When workers feel threatened by their employer's disregard of workplace safety, they are entitled to report the issue and request an inspection of the facilities.

After receiving such complaints about the unsafe conditions at a manufacturer of automotive structures in Kansas City, Missouri, OSHA launched an inspection at the plant. The agency recently reported that 14 safety violations were identified -- 13 of which were classified as serious. Penalties totaling $75,000 were proposed.

Inspectors found that employees were exposed to excessive noise levels that were not monitored, and no protocols were in place to ensure workers used hearing protection. The facility also proved to have multiple machines without safety guards to prevent contact with moving machine parts. Confined spaces were not identified and evaluated to determine the need for special permits.

Neglecting workplace safety and exposing workers to known safety hazards are inexcusable, especially when those hazards can cause death or permanent disability such as hearing loss. Although workers are entitled to pursue compensation for injuries suffered on-the-job, no amount of money can replace one's hearing or an amputated limb. The Missouri workers' compensation allows injured workers to file benefits claims, and compensation typically covers medical costs and lost wages. Depending on the severity of the injury, and the potential long-term consequences, the insurance program may authorize additional compensation.

Source: ohsonline.com, "Multiple Hazards Found at Missouri Auto Parts Manufacturing Facility", July 7, 2016

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