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OSHA finds federal agency in violation of safety regulations

Many workers seek coveted employment with government offices -- whether local or federal -- in order to obtain benefits and job security. However, regardless of the workplace, all employers are required to follow the safety and health regulations that fall under the purview of OSHA. Missouri workers who believe that an injury or illness was caused by unsafe working conditions are entitled to file a claim for workers' compensation benefits.

Earlier this year, investigators with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration found that officials with the Department of Agriculture, Rural Development Division, violated several safety regulations when it conducted an abatement for lead paint within its offices located in its headquarters. Employees arrived at work to find that their offices were being cleared of lead paint contamination. According to the findings of OSHA inspectors, office officials did not notify staff that the work was scheduled to begin. Many employees continued to work in the vicinity during the abatement process.

According to OSHA officials, some workers suffered a worsening of pre-existing medical ailments. When OSHA inspectors were notified by workers and union officers, they discovered that employees were exposed to lead particles that exceeded the safe exposure levels. Furthermore, workers were not informed of their exposure nor were they notified of the findings of the investigations.

OSHA inspectors also found that USDA officials violated regulations that require employers to provide health and safety training. Agricultural officials have disputed the agency's findings, and they claim that the abatement process has been completed and that the OSHA report was posted on employee bulletin boards. Any time Missouri workers have been injured or have contracted a serious work-related illness, they may seek assistance in filing a valid claim for workers' compensation benefits. These benefits are often vital in helping affected workers make ends meet until they can return to work, and an experienced attorney can help ensure they are received in a timely manner.

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