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Employees have every right to a reasonably safe work space. Employers are obligated to take necessary safety precautions as outlined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Failure to do so can endanger staff and result in a higher number of workers’ compensation claims. OSHA has recently cited a mill here in Connecticut for what it says are major violations that could have caused major illnesses to the factory workers.

OSHA says it conducted an inspection of the mill earlier this year after a complaint from an unnamed source. It claims that employees who were renovating a part of the mill were exposed to lead and silica during blasting. The two materials are unhealthy when a person is exposed to them over a long period of time, with the potential to cause health problems such as cancer, pulmonary disease or damage to different body systems.

Authorities say that the mill did not provide employees with protective clothing, showers, or properly test and maintain respirators, in addition to exposing the staff to the dangerous materials. They claim the mill also failed to monitor employee’s behavior to ensure that proper safety guidelines were followed. The fines the company is facing total close to $50,000. They will have the opportunity to challenge OSHA’s ruling, appeal the decision or correct the problem.

Factory workers like these here in Connecticut have not revealed any plans to file for workers’ compensation at this time. Any employee who is harmed or a family who has lost a loved one on the job would have the right to file a workers’ compensation claim. Doing so could result in financial remuneration that could cover expenses that may have been incurred due to any workplace safety violations.

Source: wtnh.com, “OSHA: Naugatuck firm endangered workers”, Aaron Leo, July 17, 2014

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