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Pennsylvania company receives 14 OSHA violations for hazards

Olympia Chimney Company, a Scranton-based company, has been hit with numerous OSHA violations for uncorrected safety hazards at their facility. According to sources, in the past two years, the company's workers have suffered more than 20 incidents involving single or multiple digit amputations and crushed fingers.

Following a complaint, OSHA conducted an inspection in June 2014. The inspection found numerous unresolved safety hazards, including machinery without guards, machines without working automatic stops to prevent them from turning on during maintenance and other problems. In addition to 13 serious violations, the company also was also cited for an electrical hazard at the facility.

The citations included fines totaling $49,000. The company was given 15 days to correct all of the violations. Reportedly, the safety problems at the company have been ongoing for several years but have remained uncorrected. Serious violation designations mean that the company's practices involved serious risk of causing death or serious bodily injuries to their workers.

When employers flagrantly violate safety regulations and continue doing business while failing to correct safety problems, they may face fines and violations. Workers who are injured from working under such conditions may face permanently disabling injuries and associated financial hardships. Because of the danger of people being injured while working on the job, the state requires employers to have a type of insurance called workers' compensation to provide coverage for injured workers. People who are seriously injured on the job may be able to recover medical expenses, the ongoing costs for needed treatment and rehabilitation, and compensation for lost wages. Sometimes, employers or their carriers will dispute a claim. In that event, injured workers may want to get help from a workers' compensation attorney.

Source: EHS Today, "Forget the Two Front Teeth: All Employees at Olympia Chimney Supply Want for Christmas Are Their Fingers", Sandy Smith, December 22, 2014

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