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.
Georgia workers have the right to safe workplace environments, and the ideal situation would be for workers to be confident in their employers' commitment to worker safety. One industry in which too many lives have been lost is the oil and gas industry. A recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report indicates that nine fatalities resulted from hydrocarbon exposure from January 2010 through March 2015. This is of great concern because such workplace injuries are preventable.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently completed an investigation into a fatal workplace accident at the Georgia plant of International Paper. The on-the-job accident claimed the life of a crane operator earlier this year. Investigators determined that safety violations by the employer caused the worker's death.
Working conditions for thousands of workers in the poultry industry in Georgia and seven other southern states might improve in months to come. Following several reports of adverse workplace conditions and the many safety hazards on poultry farms, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently launched a program to address this issue. The program will focus on education and enforcement of safety regulations with the aim of lessening the number of workplace injuries in the poultry industry.
Many industries nationwide, including in Georgia, expose machine operators to the hazards associated with moving parts. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has strict safety regulations related to this hazard, and employers must take appropriate measures to prevent workplace injuries. Unfortunately, some companies continue to disregard these regulations, leading to OSHA launching a program to emphasize amputation hazards in the workplace.
Workers employed by some Georgia companies may be exposed to many hazards that are known to be violations of safety regulations. Due to the financial risk of failure to secure alternative employment, workers often continue to work for companies where they are continuously at risk of suffering workplace injuries. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced its intention to issue 26 citations to a Georgia recycling company, of which 14 will be repeat violations, The others are classified as serious violations.
Workers are often exposed to obvious safety hazards that are disregarded by their employers. Georgia workers may find some comfort in knowing that the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration is always on the lookout for situations in which workers are at risk of suffering workplace injuries. OSHA aims to prevent unnecessary injuries and deaths by not waiting for workplace accidents to happen before inspections are carried out.
Georgia workers who feel threatened by safety hazards to which they are exposed at their places of employment have the right to report their concerns to the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration. OSHA may follow such reports with investigations to determine whether the company owners violated the prescribed safety regulations. Failure to protect workers from workplace injuries is punishable by law, and, if violations are identified, they are graded and penalties are leveled accordingly.
One of many hazards faced by workers in Georgia and elsewhere is working in trenches. Projects that can require trenches include installing cables, burying utilities and pouring foundations. Many workplace injuries and even deaths have resulted from company owners not complying with safety regulations that are prescribed by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
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.