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Steel company cited for exposing employees to workplace injury

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently announced the outcome of an inspection conducted at a Colorado facility of an international steel and mining concern. The February inspection was part of the National Emphasis Program for Amputations. OSHA reported that employees of the company were exposed to multiple hazardous conditions with little compliance regarding safety regulations to prevent workplace injury.

Hazards that threatened the health and safety of workers included elevated platforms and floors without guardrails. Portable fire extinguishers were not replaced in the designated holders after use. A potential threat of rail cars rolling into the path of vehicular traffic was caused by the company's failure to install bumper stops.

Cranes at the facility were also found to pose hazards because of the company's negligence to carry out periodic inspections. Ladders were not securely fastened to the cranes, and sprocket chains and wheels were without guards. Furthermore, several electrical hazards were identified. Exposing employees to so many safety threats is unacceptable, and OSHA issued 10 citations for serious violations.

The agency suggested the company involves employees in the identification and reporting of safety hazards. Any Colorado worker who suffers a workplace injury may pursue workers' compensation benefits claims to assist with the unanticipated financial consequences of such an incident. Medical expenses are typically covered, and in the event of temporary or permanent disability caused by an on-the-job accident, the insurance program may award additional compensation along with a wage-replacement package. This is typically based on the wage level of the injured worker.

Source: ohsonline.com, "OSHA Cites Colorado Steel Mill", July 18, 2016

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