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OSHA fines Ohio manufacturer $103,500

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has proposed fines of more than $100,000 for a Leetonia, Ohio, based metals and plastic manufacturer. OSHA found the company in violation of at least 30 safety and health regulations, including conditions that exposed workers to amputation, electrocution and fire risks among other workplace injury hazards.

OSHA began the inspection in September after receiving a complaint about conditions at the plant where are 12 people are employed.

OSHA considered 27 of the 30 violations to be "serious," meaning that there was a "substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known."

The serious violations include things such as failure to provide workers with safety gear, failure to install shields to protect workers from sharp equipment, failure to label hazardous chemicals, failure to properly store flammable materials and failure to conduct fire safety training.

The manufacturer now has 15 days from the citation date to remedy the insufficiencies or to contest the findings. The company can either protest the findings formally with the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, or it can request to meet informally with OSHA's area director.

Although the report is unclear as to whether the violations resulted in any actual injuries to workers at the site, OSHA regulations exist to protect workers in these situations. Workers' that are injured on the job can file workers' compensation claims to obtain compensation for any medical treatment and lost wages. If the employers' negligence caused the accident, the employer can sometimes be held responsible by additional legal claims.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, "US Department of Labor's OSHA proposes $103,500 in fines to Polychem in Leetonia, Ohio, for 30 safety and health violations," Scott Allen and Rhonda Burke, March 19, 2012

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