• John Larrimer

OSHA Fines Facility for Exposing Workers to Hazardous Chemicals

Flex-N-Gate, an Illinois-based manufacturer operating as Guardian West in Urbana, may be facing federal fines for violating safety standards, according to News4Jax.com. The US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) claims that Guardian West failed to monitor employees who may have been exposed to harmful chemicals, such as nickel, chromium, hydrochloric acid and sulfuric acid. OSHA officials inspected the facility in December of 2011. Proposed fines total $57,000. Flex-N-Gate’s owner, Shahid Khan, also owns the NFL team, the Jacksonville Jaguars.

“Employers such as Guardian West are responsible for knowing the hazards that exist in their manufacturing plants and taking the necessary procedures to ensure that workers are monitored for exposure to potentially harmful substances,” said OSHA area director Tom Bielema. “OSHA is committed to protecting workers on the job, especially when employers fail to do so.”

OSHA takes these types of violations very seriously, as well it should. If you do not take measures to find out if employees are even injured in the first place, there is little hope in protecting them in the future. Another one of Khan’s companies, Chrome Craft, was recently under fire when residents in a neighborhood complained the facility was toxic and hazardous.

“He’s able to buy a football team, but he’s unable to clean up the mess he left,” said Michael Miley, who was protesting at the Chrome Craft facility.

If your employer fails to ensure your safety at a high-risk occupation, do not hesitate to contact an attorney to ensure you receive the benefits to which you are entitled.

Larrimer & Larrimer, LLC—Columbus workers comp attorneys.

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