Unfortunately, some Ohio companies continue to place profits above their workers’ safety. A recent decision by an administrative law judge has sent a message to a certain Ohio-based painting company that these actions will not be tolerated.
The case stems from an investigation conducted by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which is the division of the U.S. Department of Labor that is charged with preventing workplace accidents and increasing the safety of America’s workforce.
The Ohio-based painting company was engaged in a painting project on a bridge out of state in 2010 when OSHA issued a citation containing six serious violations against the company. One of the citations was issued due to a lack of horizontal lines in place to protect the workers from falls while working on the bridge. The company agreed to hire a qualified safety consultant to design an effective lifeline system for the workers’ protection against falls.
However, when OSHA went back in 2011 to follow up, it determined that the company still did not have an acceptable lifeline system in place.
The company disputed the violation and fine assessed by OSHA and a trial was recently held before the Occupational Health and Safety Review Commission. The administrative law judge upheld the violations and ordered the company to pay a fine of $19,250. This case illustrates the reality that guarding against workplace injuries is not always the number one concern of Ohio’s employers.
Fortunately, the Ohio workers’ compensation system is available to any worker who is injured while working. Anyone who is injured in a workplace accident may be entitled to receive compensation for medical expenses and loss of wages, regardless of who is at fault.
By filing a workers’ compensation claim, employees may be eligible to receive reimbursement for medical treatment for any injuries they may have sustained as a result of a workplace accident. They also could be entitled to additional benefits if they are temporarily or permanently disabled as a result of an accident. Furthermore, they may be compensated for any permanent physical impairment they are left with after receiving medical treatment.
Source: U.S. Department of Labor, “US Labor Department secures decision affirming fall hazard violation, fine against Campbell, Ohio-based bridge painting company,” Nov. 5, 2012