Schwan's Global Supply Chain Inc., based out of Minnesota was cited by the Occupations Safety and Health Administration for 32 safety and health violations at one of its facilities. Also cited were two companies that provide staffing and maintenance services for Schwan's. Schwan's was fined $185,700 by OSHA
"All workers, whether full-time or temporary, deserve the same commitment and access to a safe workplace," stated an OSHA director. He further added that Schwan's and the other two companies were not providing a safe workplace for their employees.
The companies were specifically taken to task for failing to provide adequate training for workers when dealing with ammonia. The ammonia is used in refrigeration equipment. The workers were also said to be exposed to damaging noise levels and unguarded machinery.
Since Schwan's employs 14,000 employees across the country, there certainly can be little excuse for the company not implementing adequate policies to promote workplace safety. Exposure to particular type of conditions can lead to injuries overtime due to repetitive stress or can lead to workplace injuries of a catastrophic nature. In any event, the worker may be qualified to workers' compensation benefits when such injuries occur on-the-job.
Though this may seem straightforward, employers sometimes do contest workers' compensation claims that are made. And as the process can be particularly complex, it's often in the workers best interest to speak to an experienced workers' compensation lawyer to determine one's legal options.
While OSHA fines can provide incentives for employers to make their workplaces safer, workplace safety continues to remain an issue. Workers' compensation laws were put in place to make certain that employees are adequately compensated when they are injured. However, these laws also serve a purpose in holding employers accountable for not taking into consideration workplace safety.
Source: AJC.com "OSHA fines frozen foods firm $185,700 for violations at Atlanta facility," Fran Jeffries, March 12, 2014