It is no secret that employers are responsible for providing a safe work environment for their workers. At least it shouldn’t be a secret, especially to the owners of businesses and managers in charge of safety. To eliminate any questions regarding what is considered a safe environment and what situations are unsafe, we have OSHA. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is in charge of getting the word out there regarding workplace safety and enforces rules and regulations in place.
With all the information available to employers, one would think workplace safety would be relatively simple to manage. Yet there are employers out there who for one reason or another disregard the rules in place, which in turn puts the safety and sometimes the lives of their workers on the line. An example of this was recently reported on the Occupational Safety and Health website, where a news article outlines the failure of one NY employer to implement safety features to protect workers from silica exposure. As a result, OSHA has handed out $220,000 in fines.
As reported in ohsonline.com, “This company was given the time and opportunity to take effective corrective action, yet our latest inspections identified silica-related hazards that either went uncorrected or were allowed to recur. This is unacceptable,” said OSHA Syracuse Area Director Christopher Adams. He added, “The sizable fines levied here reflect the severity and recurring nature of these conditions. They must be corrected, once and for all, to help ensure the health and safety or the workers at this plant.”
We have to wonder, if hefty fines such as the those levied against this Syracuse company do not change the mentality of employers, what exactly will?