The job of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration is to protect workers in American places of employment from unsafe workplace conditions. Although OSHA certainly helps to prevent workers from becoming injured at work and may even cite businesses for failing to maintain safe work environments, only by filing a workers’ compensation claim can an injured employee actually recover some financial compensation after an accident.
When a company has been cited and penalized by OSHA, it should correct the errors the federal inspectors found. If the company does not and another complaint is registered against the company, it may face repeat violations. After a recent inspection by OSHA inspectors, a Colorado company has had seven repeat violations filed against it.
Some of the repeat violations involved the air in which employees breathed at a food processing plant in Rocky Ford, Colorado. OSHA noted that there were some problems with respiratory protections for the employees at the plant. A news release issued by OSHA also noted that the machine guarding procedures, material storage and powered industrial trucks all posed various hazards to workers. The company had previously been inspected by OSHA in 2010 and similar problems were also uncovered.
In total, the company was cited with 28 violations. Eighteen of the violations were considered serious, which means that it was probable that an employee could be injured or die because of a documented hazard the employer should have known about. There were also three other-than-serious violations, meaning that the violation was unlikely to cause serious injury or death to an employee, but that the hazard was directly related to the employee’s health or safety.
OSHA has filed $116,160 in fines against the Colorado company.
Source: OSHA Regional News Release, “US Department of Labor’s OSHA cites Colorado Blue Ribbon Foods in Rocky Ford, Colo., for 28 violations; penalties total more than $116,000,” Dec. 8, 2011