Massachusetts plant cited by OSHA for 38 safety violations

When men and women are injured while working in Massachusetts, it can leave the worker and his or her family without income for a long period of time. Some workplace accidents can even leave the individual totally or partially disabled, or never able to work again.

This is why it is extremely important for Massachusetts employers to follow the safety and health regulations established by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration. When companies choose to ignore these standards, they are often cited and fined by the agency.

A North Billerica, Massachusetts, company was cited last month by OSHA for allegedly violating 38 workplace safety standards, which resulted in a worker being seriously injured. OSHA opened an investigation into the company after an employee suffered serious eye and facial injuries while working at a Spincraft metal fabrication plant.

Reportedly, the accident occurred while the worker was operating a portable grinder and the grinding wheel broke, striking him in the face. The OSHA investigation revealed that the accident should have been preventable. OSHA found that the grinder was not guarded or set up properly, and it was not being operated at a safe speed.

The inspection found several other hazards throughout the plant as well, including obstructed exits, improper propane storage, failure to inspect certain machinery and failure to provide training on the many hazards that existed. Spincraft was cited with a total of 32 serious violations.

OSHA defines a serious violation as one that causes a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result, which the employer knew or should have known about. The company now faces a total of $175,500 in proposed OSHA fines.

Additionally, the company could face a personal injury lawsuit brought by the worker who was hurt. The OSHA findings would likely be valuable evidence in a case against the company.

Source: OSHA Regional News Release, “US Labor Department’s OSHA proposes $175,500 in fines to North Billerica, Mass., employer for 38 alleged safety violations following worker injury,” Sept. 16, 2011.