In early May, the United States Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued citations to a Lancaster, Massachusetts packaging manufacturer for 12 alleged willful and serious safety violations. OSHA issued the citations after an investigation of Horn Packaging Corporation following an employee death in a workplace accident on November 7, 2011. As a result of the investigation, the company now faces $130,300 in proposed fines.
Horn Packaging received one willful citation for an alleged failure to provide protection to employees who were exposed to moving parts on one of the company’s machines. The willful violation was issued as a result of the 2011 employee death. The worker was killed after he became entangled in a machine drive shaft that reportedly lacked proper safety guards. According to Mary Hoye, a Massachusetts Area Director for OSHA, proper machinery safeguards would likely have prevented the tragic fatality. OSHA issues willful violations when inspectors believe an employer intentionally or voluntarily disregarded the law or exhibited plain disregard for the health and safety of its workers. The willful violation resulted in a proposed penalty of $70,000.
The company was also cited $60,300 in proposed penalties for 11 serious violations. The violations included additional machine guard hazards as well as a failure to provide employees with safety training, failure to implement a written chemical hazard communication program, failure to place covers over electrical boxes, and failure to address deficiencies in Horn Packaging’s hazardous energy control program. The goal of the energy control program is to keep machinery from becoming engaged and injuring or killing workers during maintenance. OSHA will issue a serious violation when an employer knew or should have known about a safety hazard that is likely to cause serious physical harm or death to an employee.
The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 requires employers in the U.S. to provide workers with safe working conditions. OSHA is tasked with enforcing compliance with federal health and safety laws as well as investigating serious workplace accidents. The organization also provides safety education and training.
In Massachusetts, the Workers’ Compensation Act provides financial support for employees who are injured on-the-job. If you were hurt at work, it is a good idea to contact an experienced Massachusetts OSHA and workplace rights attorney to discuss your situation and help you protect your rights.
Contact Pulgini & Norton, LLP today if you were hurt in a workplace accident. Our hardworking Lawrence workers’ compensation lawyers are available to help you navigate the often complicated Massachusetts workers’ compensation process. At Pulgini & Norton, we will work diligently to get you the compensation your injuries merit. Our capable attorneys represent clients who were unexpectedly hurt at work throughout Massachusetts including Bristol, Norfolk, Middlesex, Worcester, and Suffolk counties. To speak with a committed workers’ compensation attorney, call Pulgini & Norton toll free at (888) 344-2046 or contact our lawyers through the law firm’s website.
Massachusetts-Based Stone Fabricator Fined $47,600 for Serious and Repeat Safety Violations, Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Blog, May 7, 2012
OSHA Proposes $589,200 in Fines for Safety Violations at Tewksbury-Based Grocery Chain, Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Blog, April 27, 2012
US Labor Department’s OSHA cites Lancaster, Mass., packaging manufacturer following worker fatality, Region 1 News Release: 12-810-BOS/BOS 2012-072 dated May 7, 2012