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Severe violator exposes workers to multiple workplace injuries

Employers nationwide, including those here in Oklahoma, who willfully disregard the safety regulations of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration can be placed in the agency's Severe Violators Enforcement Program. OSHA recently inspected a roofing company in another state after receiving reports of conditions posing threats of workplace injuries. Inspectors found several repeat violations and decided to add this company to the SVEP program.

Following the report of dangerous conditions, inspectors found roofing workers without ladder safeguards and fall protection at heights exceeding 20 feet. OSHA reports that inspectors returned two days later, only to find the same violations, indicating a willful disregard of workers' safety. Moreover, four other violations for which the company was cited in 2012 were still threatening the lives of employees.

These violations included failure to provide fall protection for workers on scaffolds, failure to provide eye protection and hard hats and exposing workers to unprotected moving compressor parts. Also, scaffolds were erected dangerously close to live power lines carrying 240 volts of electricity, and workers without fall protection were allowed to use ladders on scaffold platforms. After the latest allegations, OSHA says this company obstinately disregards worker safety by willfully committing repeat violations.

Oklahoma workers who are exposed to such dangerous workplace environments may find comfort in knowing that they may pursue benefits claims if they have suffered workplace injuries. The insurance program typically compensates workers for medical expenses and related costs. Moreover, if injured workers have to spend time away from work, the workers' compensation benefits will likely include a percentage of lost income.

Source: unionleader.com, "Roofing contractor cited by OSHA", Jan. 5, 2016

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