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Paper company facing hefty fines after OSHA safety inspection

While the manufacturing industry can be a hazardous employment field, most companies strive to ensure their workers' safety. One way to reinforce the importance of providing a safe working environment is through inspections conducted by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). These regular inspections are conducted in the hopes of preventing serious accidents that can severely impair Missouri workers' ability to provide for themselves and their families. 

Recently, inspectors from a local OSHA office conducted an inspection of a paper manufacturing company. By the time the inspection was completed, the company was assessed an estimated $303,657 in proposed fines for safety violations. Officials cited numerous deficiencies that could result in serious or even fatal injuries.

According to the report, the company was found to have exposed workers to such potential hazards as electrical shocks, possible flash arcs and injuries from machinery that lacked required safety guards. In addition, inspectors cited the accumulation of combustible dust on machinery and failure to follow lockout procedures to reduce excessive energy buildup from machinery. Lastly, inspectors cited environmental conditions that could lead to potentially serious slip-and-fall accidents.

Company officials were granted a 15-day period during which they can work to correct the safety deficits, request a meeting with local OSHA officials or formally contest the findings. It is unknown whether the company has a history of workplace accidents or previous citations and fines related to safety violations. Missouri workers who have been injured or suffered a work-related illness are often worried about how they will meet their financial obligations. An attorney who is skilled in navigating the state's workers' compensation insurance program can provide assistance in ensuring that claims are successfully filed for the full amount of benefits to which one may be entitled.

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