“No one should know how laws or sausages are made,” the German statesman Otto von Bismarck once said.
The wily chancellor was making a point about the ugliness that often underlies the political process. He was not referring to the importance of protecting and compensating industrial workers who are injured on the job.
Today, of course, we have such a system in America. Each state has a workers’ compensation system designed to provide appropriate benefits to people who are hurt at work.
A federal agency, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, located within the Labor Department, also plays a key role in preventing and responding to workplace injuries. OSHA does this by developing and enforcing safety standards.
Pennsylvania and other states are free to supplement these national standards with additional state standards.
In a recent Pennsylvania case, OSHA cited a food processing company, MVP Kosher Foods LLC, with a series of penalties for workplace safety violations. The total of the proposed penalties comes to $140,000.
According to OSHA, the violations occurred at the food company’s facility in Birdsboro, Pa.
The violations included:
•· Failure to train workers on how to prevent machines from starting inadvertently
•· Failure to prevent employees from performing work on live electrical parts
•· Failure to maintain hazard communication program and train workers on it
•· Absence of a program to conserve employees’ hearing
These were not the only violations cited by OSHA; there were several others as well.
Under the law, MVP Kosher Foods has 15 days to respond after receiving the citations. A company can take action to comply, ask for a conference with OSHA’s area director, or choose to contest the citations.
Source: “US Labor Department’s OSHA cites Birdsboro, PA, company for exposing workers to safety and health hazards; proposed fines total $140,000,” OSHA Regional News Release,” 8-13-12
Our firm handles situations similar to those discussed in this post. To learn more about our practice, please visit our Pennsylvania workers’ compensation page.