Georgia workers who have encountered dangerous workplace environments understand the importance of safe working conditions. Both state and federal law have protections in place to ensure that employers adhere to safety regulations and maintain safe working conditions. However, even with stringent laws in place, employers do not always provide employees with a safe work place, in an attempt to avoid work-related injuries. In such cases, it may fall upon the employee to report the employer's violations to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Recently, Tenneco Automotive Operating Co. was cited for 13 health and safety violations by the OSHA after an inspection at the company's manufacturing plant in Hartwell, Georgia. In total, OSHA assessed fines over $60,000. Included among the fines was a repeat violation of safety, in this case an employer failing to reduce pressure of a compressed air device while cleaning. The OSHA dictates that any employer who has been cited for a similar or the same violation in the previous five years will be deemed a repeat violation. In this case, Tenneco had been fined in 2011 for the same violation. Of the more severe violations, Tenneco was fined for potentially exposing workers to serious burn hazards. Other serious violations were reported and the company was fined for them. The OSHA deems a violation to be serious when there is a substantial probability that serious physical harm or death could occur as a result of the danger or hazard the employer should have known or knew about.
Every employee has the right to be employed in a workplace that is reasonably free from health and safety hazards. The OSHA is the federal agency that monitors and inspects workplaces in order to assure both the health and safety of America's workers. If an employee becomes aware of a safety issues, and their employer has not corrected or taken measures to fix the problem, the employee should contact the OSHA. If the OSHA or the Georgia state office decides that there may be danger or violations at the workplace, they will conduct an investigation.
If you believe you are working in an unsafe working condition and your employer has been notified but not taken corrective action, an attorney can assess your claim and help give you legal advice regarding your situation. Each and every employee has the right to feel safe at work.
Source: [Reliable Plant, "Georgia Manufacturer Cited for Repeat Safety Violations," May 16, 2013]