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OSHA Levies Fines Against Violating Plants

Posted By Arnold & Itkin LLP || 31-Jul-2012

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) levied over $400,000 in fines against plants that violated the agency's safety laws in the past few months. The three offenders were located in Arkansas, New York and Texas and were involved in chemical, hair care and aerospace manufacturing respectively.

OSHA cited Indiana-based Great Lakes Chemical Corporation for 18 different serious safety violations at its El Dorado, Arkansas chemical plant. Among other violations, the company failed to account for hazards involving closed or blocked valves in its process hazard analysis; did not implement procedures to maintain safe levels in pressure vessels and pipings and failed to ensure that ladder-way platform openings were guarded by standard railings. As a result of these violations, several plant employees were harmed when they were unexpectedly exposed to a release of bromine, a potentially toxic chemical. The company must pay $122,000 for their violations.

Workplace safety officials conducting a recent inspection for OSHA levied Zotos International with a $233,000 fine after discovering 44 different serious safety violations at its Geneva, New York hair product manufacturing plant. Violations included the presence of unguarded moving machinery, blocked exit doors, undeveloped safety plans and untrained employees working with live electrical parts. Additionally, in just the short period of the inspection, OSHA workers were exposed to unsafe quantities of certain chemicals and noticed that officials had not made adequate preparations to prevent the release of a flammable liquid used in the manufacturing process. In addition to the fine, Zotos was given 15 days to correct the violations or face a shut down.

Finally, OSHA inspectors discovered 13 serious safety violations at the Arlington Texas manufacturing plant of Progressive, Inc., a subsidiary of the Canadian aerospace manufacturer Heroux-Devtek. The safety violations discovered at that location, which resulted in a $58,000 fine, included failure to mark an emergency exit, blocked fire extinguishers and improperly stored compressed gas cylinders.

Industrial employees face many inherent dangers while at work, due to their proximity to heavy machinery, chemicals and other unavoidable dangers. When employers make matters worse by ignoring protective safety guidelines put into place by OSHA, the risks are even greater. If you or a loved one has been injured on the job, and your employer violated OSHA safety standards, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact our team of industrial injury attorneys at Arnold & Itkin today to see if we can help you win just compensation for your injuries.

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