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Workplace injuries: Steel company cited by OSHA twice in 1 year

Workers nationwide, including in Oklahoma, have the right to be protected from known hazards in their workplaces. Unfortunately, some employers have little or no regard for the safety of their workers. One such company in another state has now been put on the Severe Violator Enforcement Program of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration after an investigation into an incident in which a worker was fortunate to only suffer workplace injuries rather than losing his life.

According to OSHA reports, the worker had been working for the steel manufacturing company for seven years before the safety lath of a crane failed, and a 1,000-pound load of equipment was dropped onto him. An area director of OSHA said this avoidable accident could have caused a fatality. Although the worker survived, his foot was fractured, and several other bones were broken -- injuries that might impact on the remainder of his life.

OSHA reported that this was the second time the company was cited for safety violations within the past 12 months. Investigators determined that previous violations had not been addressed since the last inspection. They reported that workers remain exposed to amputation, fall and struck-by hazards. It was revealed that workers at another one of the company's facilities are exposed to similar dangers, and both facilities have been cited for the same life-threatening hazards more than once.

Such disregard for worker safety is unacceptable and may cause workplace injuries that can cause permanent disability. While no amount of compensation can replace an amputated limb or heal other permanent injuries, the benefits offered by Oklahoma workers' compensation may provide some financial relief. Such benefits typically cover all medical expenses and some level of compensation for lost wages. Furthermore, vocational training might be offered to workers who need to learn new skills that will accommodate the physical limitations that were brought about by a workplace accident.

Source: ehstoday.com, "Employee Injured by Crane at TimkenSteel, OSHA Cites Company for the Second Time in a Year", Ginger Christ, Nov. 4, 2015

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