Employees go to work each day with the expectation that their workplace is safe. Unfortunately, that may not always be true.
Earlier this month, a New York company was cited for over 48 workplace violations. The company, which makes plastic balls used for hydraulic fracturing, allowed its employees to work in an environment that may have compromised their health or led to workplace injuries. Not only did employees work in areas without proper ventilation systems, but they also may have been exposed to chemical hazards.
According to an OSHA director, the company's workplace environment also lacked safety equipment and basic safety controls. The company did not have a fire alarm or a fire suppression system. In the event of a fire, individuals would not have had timely warning of the danger. Additionally, the company had not created any protocols to prevent chemical, fire or explosion hazards.
History records many incidents where the basic lack of safety controls led to both serious workplace injuries and the tragic loss of life. If the company wants to avoid over $100,000 in fines, it has 15 business days to rectify the violations or contest the OSHA citations.
No employee should have to work in unsafe conditions. In companies where there are many obvious workplace violations, it's possible that there may be hidden ones too. Workers who have experienced an injury in their workplace or have an injury that they believe is related to unsafe workplace conditions can incur thousands of dollars in medical costs and lost wages. Workers' compensation claims can reimburse employees for these losses. Workers who are reluctant to file a claim should consider that workers' compensation claim can not only help them but can also sound the alarm so future workers will not be injured.