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Threats of workplace injury identified by OSHA inspectors

Business owners in Missouri are legally responsible for the protection of the health and safety of employees. If the Occupational Safety and Health Administration receives complaints about unsafe work environments, the company must allow federal safety inspectors access to the facility. A sheet metal facility that denied OSHA investigators access was recently ordered by a federal court to allow federal inspectors to investigate allegations of safety violations that may lead to workplace injury.

OSHA investigators identified multiple serious and repeated violations, and the company's injury logs had numerous entries of hand and wrist lacerations suffered by employees. Investigators determined that this employer neglected to evaluate and assess the workplace for safety hazards. Furthermore, the company failed to provide personal protective gear to prevent facial and eye injuries to workers who received no training in the handling of hazardous chemicals.

Investigators found machines lacking adequate safeguarding and energy control devices. Spraying areas were found to have residues that were combustible, and equipment that could produce sparks were within the hazardous area less than 20 feet away. Chromium was allowed to accumulate on surfaces, and damaged industrial trucks were not removed from service. All of these violations posed serious threats of occupational injuries.

Any employee in Missouri who is a victim of workplace injury might have to cope with high medical expenses and lost wages if the injury caused temporary disability. Fortunately, help is available through the workers' compensation insurance system. The injured worker can file benefits claims with the insurance program for coverage of mounting doctors' and hospital bills along with lost income.

Source: reliableplant.com, "Missouri Sheet Metal Manufacturer Cited for Serious Safety Violations", Accessed on Feb. 10, 2017

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