The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration sets rules for industries across the U.S. to help prevent workplace accidents and make sure that workers stay safe. Unfortunately, not every company takes these rules as seriously as they should and some of them are in Illinois.
Earlier this month, OSHA announced that it had cited Arlington Metals Corporation in Franklin Park, Illinois, for multiple safety and health violations. The company faces fines totaling $117,000. The citations were issued after the United Steel Workers Union filed a complaint about the working conditions at the facility, which is engaged in metal stripping and coil processing.
Overall, the OSHA investigation uncovered 17 serious violations, including:
OSHA considers a violation to be serious if there is a substantial likelihood that a worker could be killed or seriously injured by a workplace hazard that his employer knew about or should have known about.
In addition, OSHA found 12 violations that were not classified as serious. These sorts of violations are generally ones that negatively affect workplace safety, but are unlikely to result in serious injury or death. In this case, OSHA cited Arlington Metals for poor cleaning practices, failure to provide training to employees regarding energy control processes, failure to develop a written plan for emergency evacuation and other violations.
It is currently not clear whether Arlington Metals will simply pay the fines or will appeal the violations with the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The rules also allow the company to meet informally with the OSHA area director.
This is not the first time that Arlington Metals has been fined by OSHA this year. In August and October, the agency found three serious violations at the Franklin Park facility, including a failure to provide employees with adequate fire safety training. Five additional serious violations were found in October, the most serious of which was a failure to train and test workers on the use of respiratory equipment.
If you have been injured at work because of a violation of OSHA regulations, consider speaking with a workers’ compensation attorney. A workers’ compensation attorney can help you understand your rights and explain how you can get the compensation you deserve for your medical bills.