Every employee has the right to work in a safe environment. Federal laws have been enacted that set and enforce standards for protecting the health and safety of all workers. A recent investigation of a plant in Georgia has exposed flaws in the company’s safety procedures that could put its employees at risk for an on-the-job accident.
A Schwan’s food production plant in Georgia was recently cited by federal regulators with 32 safety and health violations. Occupational Safety and Health Administration officials also cited two additional companies with 18 violations. Those companies provide staffing and maintenance services for Schwan’s. The facility, which employs approximately 500 workers, came under investigation after a concerned worker filed a complaint.
Investigators found the plant did not provide adequate training for some employees, which put them at risk for an on-the-job accident. They also discovered exits that were mislabeled and blocked as well as other safety issues with protective equipment and machinery. Schwan’s officials have expressed concerns regarding the validity of the citations but have stated the company will work with OSHA to ensure a safe work environment for its people.
Employers are responsible for providing a workplace that is free of recognized hazards and complies with OSHA safety standards and regulations. Even with proper safety measures in place, it is still possible for an on-the-job accident to occur. In Georgia, victims injured in the workplace reserve the right to pursue benefits under current workers’ compensation laws. It may be beneficial for employees to explore their rights to these benefits as well as the proper procedures necessary to ensure they are compensated fairly should they find themselves the victim of a work related accident.
Source: claimsjournal.com, Schwan’s Georgia Plant Gets 32 Health and Safety Citations, No author, March 14, 2014