Workers who are in the employ of a chemical manufacturing company would likely expect the company owners to be knowledgeable about the potential hazards presented by the various chemicals. However, a Georgia-based chemical manufacturer was recently cited for serious safety violations at one of its facilities in another state. OSHA found that workers were exposed to chemicals that may cause severe workplace injuries or even death.
OSHA seeks to lessen the number of incidents where occupational illnesses are caused by hazardous chemical exposure. Employers have to comply with particular requirements for the management and control of dangerous chemicals. One of the hazardous chemicals identified as potentially dangerous for the workers of this company is formaldehyde. In addition to being an explosion and fire hazard, formaldehyde is an irritant to the nose, throat, eyes and skin. Death can result if formaldehyde is swallowed.
OSHA determined that the chemical company failed to train the workers in the plant involved in the safety procedures required when handling chemicals. It also failed to identify potential exposure hazards, and the necessary equipment testing and inspections were not carried out. In order to protect workers from the catastrophic health consequences of exposure to hazardous chemicals, proper safeguards should be in place.
Georgia company owners should not subject workers to unsafe work environments where safety training and information about potential hazards are not provided. Those who have suffered adverse consequences after workplace injuries caused by hazardous conditions may pursue financial relief through the workers’ compensation insurance fund. It is not uncommon for occupational illnesses caused by chemical exposure to become evident long after exposure, and obtaining fair compensation may depend upon the guidance and support of an experienced legal professional.
Source: norwalkreflector.com, “OSHA proposes $60,500 in penalties after workers were exposed to dangerous chemicals“, Jan. 27, 2015