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Workplace injury threats identified at auto parts manufacturer

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is concerned about the manner in which some companies and staffing agencies treat temporary workers in Colorado and other states. A facility at which automobile parts are produced was inspected by OSHA and their findings were alarming. OSHA inspectors determined that both temporary and permanent workers were exposed to severe safety hazards that could lead to a workplace injury.

The most serious dangers that workers at this facility face included amputation risks, the possibility of being caught in the working parts of machinery and being hit by heavy objects. Inspectors found that the lack of machine guarding exposed workers to these hazards. Also, staffing agencies are responsible for providing temporary workers with general training in workplace health and safety while employers must ensure that permanent and temporary employees receive the necessary training related to the particular business. The two entities were issued 11 citations for violations of which four were repeat violations.

OSHA reported that it may enter this company into its list of severe violators that will entitle the agency to conduct unannounced follow-up inspections at the facility. Company owners who are recalcitrant and continue to endanger workers despite citations are typically added to this program in an effort to enforce compliance. Sadly, such employers compromise the safety of workers.

Any Colorado employee who has suffered a workplace injury may pursue financial support to assist with settling medical bills and caring for his or her family during the victim's time in the hospital or while recuperating. Benefit claims may be filed with the state's workers' compensation insurance program. Along with coverage of medical expenses, the benefits will include a financial package to replace lost income. This is typically based upon the injured worker's average income per week. Legal guidance can be beneficial.

Source: safety.blr.com, "OSHA: Actions of auto parts company must come to a screeching halt", July 28, 2016

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