ABC Polymer Industries LLC, a plastics manufacturer based out of Helena, Alabama, was cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) when one of its employees died on the job. The worker was pulled in the company’s plastics recycling machine in August 2017.
The agency says this unfortunate disaster was the result of the lack of compliance to the workplace safety regulations put in place by OSHA to prevent incidents such as this. The company is now facing $195,144 in projected fines and penalties.
Following this tragedy, OSHA began an investigation to determine whether the incident was preventable and if any safety violations had occurred. At the conclusion of the investigation, it was determined that the incident was indeed preventable and citations were issued to the company.
The company received a citation for failure to provide guarding on its machinery equipment, which protects employees from amputation hazards. It also received a citation for repeat violations, such as its failure to perform an in-depth evaluation of every powered industrial truck in its possession at least once every three years. The company also did not have the required safety methods to shut down stored energy. The fourth and final citation was due to the company’s failure to install the required rail system on each side of an open platform.
According to Ramona Morris, OSHA Office Director of the Birmingham area, “Employers must comply with required safety and health standards to protect workers from exposure to hazards. This company’s failure to install machine guarding equipment has resulted in a preventable tragedy.”
Thousands of corporations in this country fail to comply with safety regulations set forth by OSHA to help prevent injuries in the workplace. These companies are putting their profits ahead of the safety of their employees and this is just flat-out wrong. Sometimes they fail to think through how many lives are affected by the loss of a life, and other times they simply ignore this idea.
Corporate American companies are often very greedy and will stop at nothing to boost their worth. It is crucial that we do our part in helping raise awareness of this issue across the country in hopes that tragedies like this will be prevented and lives can be saved.