Skibiel Law

Threats of workplace injuries identified at pet food plant

Workers in industrial facilities in Georgia and across the country rely upon company owners to prioritize workers' safety. Moreover, preventing workplace injuries helps keep workers' compensation insurance premiums in check. Unfortunately, in some cases, employee safety falls victim to an employer's drive to maximize profits.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration reported a proposed penalty of $40,200 for multiple safety violations at an animal food manufacturing plant in another state. Inspectors found up to 5 inches of accumulated grain dust in some areas, creating a severe explosion hazard. This could have been avoided by implementing housekeeping procedures to prevent accumulation of the dust.

Furthermore, it was also found that floor openings, ladder ways and platforms lacked guardrails, exposing workers to life-threatening fall hazards. Although energy control devices were present to prevent potential amputation injuries caused by sudden machine activation, the company failed to test and inspect the effectiveness of the control system. OSHA provides clear and comprehensive safety regulations related to each area of an industrial facility, and compliance can prevent on-the-job accidents.

Georgia workers may be concerned about their safety and may find comfort in knowing that financial relief is available should they suffer workplace injuries. The workers' compensation insurance program's benefits typically cover all medical expenses related to the injury. Also, injured victims who have lost work hours due to hospitalization or recuperation time will be compensated. These benefits will cover a portion of lost income and are based on the injured worker's most recent income level. Some injured workers are overwhelmed by the complex claims procedures and seek the help of an experienced workers' compensation attorney to pursue the receipt of all applicable insurance benefits.

Source:, "Purina plant in Wichita faces possible fine of more then $40K", March 31, 2016

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