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OSHA cites Ohio industrial plant with 19 serious violations

Cleveland Tank and Supply, Inc. has recently been cited with 19 serious health and safety violations for which OSHA has proposed levying fines in the amount of $72,800. Unfortunately, many workplace accidents occur every year in industrial plants throughout the country. However, as these serious citations suggest, many of these accidents may be prevented if employers took more precautions to ensure the safety of their workers.

A serious violation is one that occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

Some of the many safety violations that were cited in this case include the following:

• Failure to monitor the workers' exposure to chromium in the plant

• Failure to ensure that the workers' exposure to chromium was below the legal limit

• Failing to develop machine-specific lockout and tagout procedures

• Failure to ensure machine guarding was provided for various machinery to prevent amputation and other hazards

Chromium is a chemical that can cause irritation to skin and eyes, airways and nasal passages. Exposure to dangerous chemicals is a common problem in industrial environments and employers must be held accountable for ensuring that their employees are protected from such harmful exposure.

If workers are not properly trained to operate dangerous heavy industrial machinery, horrific industrial accidents can certainly result. Fortunately, the Ohio workers' compensation system is available to injured workers who are involved in accidents, regardless of fault. Anyone injured in a workplace accident is entitled to receive compensation for loss of wages as well as medical expenses, by filing a workers' compensation claim. Injured employees are also entitled to additional benefits if they are temporarily or permanently disabled as a result of workplace accidents.

Source: OSHA, "US Department of Labor's OSHA cites Cleveland Tank & Supply," Oct. 3, 2012

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