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Ohio plant faces major safety violations at factory

A glass company based in Ohio is on the Indiana Occupation Safety and Health Administration's chopping block. The company was recently tagged with seven safety orders from IOSHA . The fines total over $230,000.

The glass company makes products for major car companies and the factory employs 350 people. In the last year, Indiana's work safety agency has cited the company for safety issues at the factory at least three times. The concerns first started in 2010 with a workplace accident in which an employee died. The 56-year-old man was crushed by machinery.

After the man's death, the safety agency fined the company $32,000 but eventually dropped it to $15,000 through a settlement agreement. Subsequent inspections revealed more issues and proposed fines in the range of $150,000.

Employees then made more complaints about workplace safety. The complaints sparked a thorough inspection and the resulting fine broke records at almost half a million dollars. The agency issued 29 safety orders.

Another workplace injury occurred last October when an employee suffered numerous fractures after being stuck in a machine press. Following the injury, the plant received four "knowing" violations. These violations are especially serious because it means the company was aware of certain issues but failed to fix them.

It's scary to think that the company has continued with such dangerous violations for a number of years, especially in light of the employee death and injury. In Ohio, there is state workers' compensation system in place to provide monetary benefits to employees who are injured at work. Workers' compensation can help pay for time away from work and medical bills caused by an accident but this safeguard is no excuse for employers to disregard employee safety.

Source: Indianapolis Business Journal, "Glass company faces more fines for safety violations," Dan Human, Jan. 29, 2013

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