All companies have a responsibility to keep workplaces safe and free of hazards that can cause injuries to employees. It's one thing to be cited for a violation once. But when the same violation keeps recurring, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration must step in to punish the employer so that employees are protected. Reliable Castings Corp. in Sidney, Ohio, has been cited multiple times by OSHA and faces fines of almost $300,000.
The manufacturing facility has repeatedly exposed its workers to amputation and crushing hazards. An inspection by OSHA showed that workers were untrained and left in situations where their safety was compromised. One specific rule - failure to use proper lockout/tagout procedures - was violated multiple times. A repeat violation occurs when a company is cited for the same violation more than once in a five-year period.
Reliable Castings Corp. was also cited for eight serious violations involving the lack of guardrails, failing to use proper protective equipment, failing to keep electrical devices away from water and not providing workers with safety data sheets. The company, which employs close to 140 workers at the Sidney facility, is now in OSHA's Severe Violator Enforcement Program. Altogether, it has been cited for 56 violations totaling $293,700 in fines.
In lieu of workers' compensation benefits, an injured worker has the right to file a civil lawsuit against his or her employer. If an employee dies from a workplace injury, the company could face a wrongful death lawsuit as well. Reliable Castings should take the necessary steps to rectify these unsafe conditions or it could end up being shut down due to noncompliance.
Source: United States Department of Labor, "US Labor Department's OSHA fines Reliable Castings Corp. $293,700 for multiple violations at Sidney, Ohio, plant" Scott Allen and Rhonda Burke, Dec. 26, 2013