Aug 16, 2016

OSHA Issues $47k in Penalties to Manufacturer of Fiberglass Boats For Exposing Georgia Employees to Serious Hazards

Employees injured or killed at work may be entitled to compensation for
their injuries. All employers with more than three employees are required
by Georgia law to provide different types of benefits under the state
workers’ compensation system. These benefits include wage and medical
benefits, as well as permanent disability benefits for those who suffer
from a permanent disability as a result of a work-related incident. The
State Board of Workers’ Compensation administers rules for all employers
in Georgia. Additionally, there are other organizations and agencies that
protect the rights of workers, including the United States Department
of Labor and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”).

Recently, in Nashville, Georgia, a leading manufacturer of fiberglass boats
was cited and issued proposed fines for one repeated and two serious safety
violations. A
press release issued by OSHA stated that they initiated this follow-up inspection after
issuing serious citations to the company in July 2013.

The repeated citation was issued for exposing employees to dust particulates
at a level above permissible exposure limits. The company had been cited
for this same violation at their facility in December 2013. These serious
violations included a failure to provide employees required to wear respiratory
protection with medical evaluations, as well as a failure to implement
engineering/administrative controls that would have minimized employee
exposure to airborne particulates.

OSHA stated that this leading manufacturer of fiberglass boats must protect
their workers from known safety and health hazards. Excessive dust from
cutting and grinding operations is an example of a known hazard. Exposure
to these airborne particulates can lead to long-term respiratory disease.
The director of OSHA’s Savannah Area Office stated that all employers
are expected to anticipate and control potential health hazards in their
work environment.

The company has 15 business days after receiving the OSHA proposed penalty
to comply, request a conference with the area director for OSHA, or contest
the findings before an independent OSHA review commission.

OSHA works to reduce the number of on-the-job injuries and fatalities that
take place in Georgia and throughout the country. The Occupational Safety
and Health Act of 1970 serves to lower the number of job-related accidents
and fatalities that take place across the United States. Employers throughout
the nation must provide their employees with a safe workplace, free from
foreseeable health and safety hazards. Failing to maintain a safe workplace
makes companies liable for fines and other penalties.

If you or a loved one has suffered injuries at work in Atlanta or the surrounding
areas, you have legal rights. Discuss your situation with a skilled
workers’ compensation attorney in order to preserve your right to benefits. You may be entitled
to financial support and protection. Contact the Law Offices of Nathaniel
F. Hansford to receive a free, confidential consultation. We can be reached
by calling (770) 922-3660 or using our online form.