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OSHA says workers' rights violated by poultry producer

Every Colorado employee has the right to a safe workplace. When a company violates its workers' rights to be safe in the course of their duties, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration often steps in and conducts an investigation to identify problem areas the company needs to correct. Such an investigation was recently conducted at an out-of-state poultry producer after a complaint was filed.

It was determined that the company was not only putting the lives of its workers at risk, but was also dissuading them from seeking medical treatment for their injuries. Employees were exposed to fall hazards, exposed machinery parts and other dangers. When a worker did suffer an injury, the United States' sixth largest poultry producer -- Wayne Farms -- failed to properly document it.

With proper medical treatment, musculoskeletal injuries can forestall any further progression. However, workers at Wayne Farms' plant in Alabama were directed to the nurse who worked at the plant numerous times before going to a doctor. As for prevention of these injuries, the company could have instituted certain controls but failed to do so.

When workers' rights are violated because a company fails to make their safety and health a priority, injuries are bound to occur. When they do, workers are entitled to benefits through the Colorado workers' compensation system. The benefits can cover expenses such as medical costs, lost wages and even temporary disability during recovery. If a worker is permanently injured, additional benefits may be available. Should a worker die, his or her family may also be entitled to benefits.

Source: ehstoday.com, "OSHA Cries Foul, Cites Poultry Producer for Musculoskeletal Hazards", Josh Cable, Nov. 3, 2014

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