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Cincinnati Workers' Comp Law Blog

Work-related injury results in fines for Ohio sports company

A well-known maker of sporting goods is facing fines from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The plant, which makes footballs, was found to be in violation of safety protocols related to cutting off the power on machines before servicing them. The Ohio factory has reported at least one work-related injury as a result of the safety violation. 

This year, OSHA has found the sporting goods plant to be in violation of safety guidelines at least six different times. The fines were issued after two separate inspections, one occurring in February and another in June, with each inspection resulting in three fines. The federal fines total more than $65,000.

Engage older workers to reduce work injury

Employers can utilize the skills of many of their own in order to improve processes within a company. Sometimes a work injury can be prevented simply by consulting with a team of employees to see which parts of the job can be improved. In Ohio, many employers are utilizing the experiences of older workers when they tweak safety practices. 

Experts agree that a helpful step in safety improvement is to form a multi-disciplinary team that ranges from all ages, experience and management levels. When the team is formed, then all can come together to identify specific safety goals. A team that includes older workers will benefit from their combined expertise, and also their prior experiences regarding what processes will work and which ones have failed in the past. Also, older employees who have been with the company longer are more likely to stay on and are more invested in the company itself. 

Workplace accident results in man's death

The beneficial effects of workplace safety should not be underestimated. When leadership and labor teams work together to pursue safety goals, they often do so with the knowledge that improved safety protocols literally save lives. This is especially true in Ohio, a land of industry. Recently, a workplace accident resulted in the tragic death of one local man. 

The incident occurred at Walther, a maker of auto parts. The man killed was a subcontractor working at the Warren County facility. He was injured as a result of a piece of heavy equipment falling on him. Sadly, the man was not able to be rescued. 

Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation offers safety grants

Some employers think it is good business to cut corners on safety for a short-term boost to profits. Research does not support this conclusion, however. In fact, the research shows that, for every dollar invested in safety, an employer can expect to receive two to six dollars in return. The Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) aims to assist employers with safety initiatives, so that fewer workers are injured on the job and fewer employees will require workers' compensation benefits. 

Grant programs exist for Ohio employers to take advantage of. One state program offers a three dollar match to every one dollar an employer invests in safety, up to a total of $40,000. This grant program has reduced new equipment injuries by 66 percent and the cost of injuries by 82 percent. The Bureau also offers free use of their library and entry into safety conventions for employers. 

Was your workers' compensation claim denied?

Suffering an injury while on the job can be an immensely difficult situation to address. Though you may have taken the proper steps to get the medical attention you needed and apply for workers' compensation, you could still face hardships when it comes to obtaining the financial assistance you need. In fact, your workers' compensation claim could even be denied.

If you do face a denied claim, you may think that you have no other options. However, you can choose to appeal the decision if you wish to do so. These efforts may prove worth your while if you hope to gain financial help with medical bills and lost wages.

Amputation injury at Ohio bakery results in fines

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration has issued fines to an Ohio bakery for safety violations. The investigation and fines followed an incident in which a worker suffered an amputation injury while clearing dough from a machine. OSHA considers the incident a repeat offense, as at least three other injuries have occurred at the plant due to the same type of safety violation. 

Upon its investigation of the incident, OSHA found that the equipment had not been properly shut off before performing required maintenance, a repeat violation for Hearthside Food Solutions LLC in McComb. The industrial bakery was fined nearly $50,000 as a result of the latest injury. Since 2012, the bakery has paid more than $87,000 in fines, OSHA records show. 

Work injury prompts Ohio senator's investigation of chicken farm

A chicken farm has allegedly used unfair and illegal tactics to try to suppress worker complaints. The Ohio farm mainly uses immigrant workers and some question the safety practices on the farm. More than one employee has suffered a work injury while employed there, prompting an investigation by U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown. 

The senator claims that it was not only one injury, but a record of injuries that brought the issue to his attention. In addition to the injuries, the farm has allegedly used suppression tactics based on the immigration status of its workers. Leadership at the farm has fired or reported the most vocal employees who protest against unfair and unsafe treatment. The senator is also aware of the immigration issue on the farm as well. 

Repetitive stress injury a concern for employers

It turns out that even simple tasks can pose a threat to employees, if certain precautions are not taken. Any task that involves using the same motion over and and can lead to an illness called a repetitive stress injury (RSI). This type of injury, if left untreated, can progress and leave an employee disabled and unable to perform his or her regular duties. A recent news article tells more about these types of ailments and what some employers are doing to prevent them. Workers in Ohio may be able to use some of the information to help adapt their workspaces. 

RSIs can be brought about from seemingly mundane tasks, such as sitting at a desk and typing, or they can come from other types of movement, such as changing bedsheets repeatedly. Some modern equipment, like many keyboards, is not engineered to allow individuals to use their body in a natural way, and can lead to detrimental effects on the body. Body mechanics can also have an effect on how workers adapt to repetitive tasks. 

Woman suffers work injury in Ohio meat packing plant

A meat packing plant can be a dangerous place to work. Sharp tools, heavy objects and conveyor belts all pose a risk for injuries to employees. Recently, one woman suffered a work injury when she trapped her arm in a conveyor belt in an Ohio meat packing facility. A recent news story gives more detail about the incident. 

The story was released in the local news with several updates as it developed. Initial reports falsely identified the victim as a man who had his arm stuck in an escalator. Updates revealed that the victim was a woman and that her arm became trapped in a conveyor belt. The machine was shut down as first responders attempted to free the arm without causing further injuries to the victim. 

Is your boss an ostrich when you report a near-miss incident?

It would only be natural for employers in Ohio to want to limit workers' compensation claims that could adversely affect the bottom lines of their businesses. However, they have different ways of going about it. Some act like ostriches that bury their heads in the sand so as not to notice safety hazards, while others encourage employees to play active roles in improving workplace safety. In which group does your employer fit?

Safety advisers say employers who encourage workers to report near misses and also involve employees in finding solutions manage to create safer workplaces -- and may even improve the morale of employees. Unfortunately, not all employers encourage the reporting of near misses.

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