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Plant facing nearly $100K in fines for safety violations

A Pennsylvania foundry is facing more than $96,000 in penalties following a January inspection by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. A complaint prompted the OSHA investigation which found new and continuing safety and health violations. According to the 1970 Occupational Safety and Health Act, employers are required to provide healthy and safe work environments for their employees. The Shippensburg Township foundry was cited with 19 alleged serious and four repeat health and safety violations. The repeat violations were the result of the company failing to properly guard belts live electrical parts, pulleys, sprockets, chains, and include a platform railing. Repeat violations come with a $26,180 penalty.

The 19 serious violations, which carry a $70,070 penalty, included overexposure and lack of engineering controls related to silica, iron oxide and sulfur dioxide. Other violations were accumulations of dust and doors on abrasive blasting enclosures that were not flanged and tight. Domestic companies have 15 days from the day they receive the citations to comply or contest the citations by contacting their OSHA area director. Additionally, companies can contest the citations before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Workers who have been injured as the result of unsafe workplace conditions may be entitled to compensation. If employers have been excessively negligent regarding safety, employees may seek compensation for damages. The intention of punitive damages is to put pressure on employers to maintain a safe environment for workers.

A qualified Pennsylvania attorney may be able to help an injured worker. An attorney may review the case and suggest either negotiation or litigation. The attorney may be able to handle negotiations for a client. In the rare event the case goes to court, an attorney may try to convince a jury of a companies' negligence on behalf of the injured client.

Source: Shippensburg News-Chronicle, "Domestic Casting plant faces nearly $100K in fines for alleged OSHA safety violations", August 23, 2013

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