Inspections by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) at a manufacturing plant in Ravenna, Ohio, has revealed that employees were exposed to toxic lead hazards by Spectrum Machine Inc. Injuries arising as a result of such a hazard could lead to workers' compensation claims by injured or ill employees.
The federal agency announced it was citing the employer for no fewer than 13 health violations and that it is seeking to impose a total of $188,300 in fines. Workers were allegedly exposed to both copper and lead fumes, breathing the fumes in for longer than the allowable limits under workplace health and safety standards.
The company is accused of failing to take necessary steps to adequate train and monitor employees concerning the hazards of exposure to lead or to develop a required program to communicate about the hazard. These failures lead to the company being cited for three "willful" violations of legal standards.
Ten other violations were noted and found to be serious, including failing to have a lockout/tagout program needed to stop the accidental starting of machinery, which could injure workers, failing to have a noise monitoring program and neglecting to give employees training in how to use fire extinguishers. Also judged to be serious was the extended exposure to the copper and lead fumes.
Imposition of fines by OSHA in such cases, does not provide compensation for medical expenses, lost wages or disability benefits to anyone injured by the neglect of an employer. Instead, workers must file claims for workers' compensation benefits.
If you have been injured in a workplace accident, contact an experienced workers compensation attorney. Your attorney will ensure your rights are protected and can file your initial claim or resubmit your claim if it has been denied. Employees are mandated by law to ensure their employees have a safe working environment. You may have a civil claim if your employer was negligence or reckless and that behavior caused your injuries.
Source: Occupational Health and Safety Administration, "U.S Labor Department's OSHHA fines Spectrum Machine $188,300 for exposing workers to lead hazards at Ravenna, Ohio manufacturing plant" No author given, Aug. 07, 2013