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Workers placed at unnecessary risk of workplace injuries

A Pennsylvania company has been fined more than $57,000 by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The company was fined for placing workers at an unnecessarily high risk for workplace injuries by allowing them to work in a hazardous environment. The company provides certain types of construction services, and it was found to have employees in a trench, working without cave-in protection. 

OHSA inspectors visited the job site where they discovered the infractions. The trench was 14 feet deep and 10 feet wide, yet the company failed to have safe means of exit and other precautionary measures available for the workers. It was also noted that the trench was hazardous due to rainfall and runoff from another pipeline. When a job requires that workers perform particularly dangerous tasks, employers are responsible for ensuring that workers are provided every safety measure available.

One of the leading causes of workplace injuries is a lack of safety measures. To prevent injuries, workers should be provided gear that is in good working order and training in the proper procedures for their jobs. Just one mistake can have devastating consequences when workers are not properly trained. 

When an employer fails to provide a safe work environment for employees, accidents and workplace injuries can follow. Fortunately, there are legal ways by which these victims and families can secure financial recovery for losses associated with accidents. The workers' compensation system is complex, often resulting in denials of claims. While this is frustrating, Pennsylvania workers should note that they have the right to retain a lawyer for the initial application, as well as to appeal a denied claim.

Source: Radnor, PA Patch, "Wayne-Based Company Fined $57K By OSHA", Kara Seymour, Dec. 3, 2015

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