Last week, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued nearly three dozen citations for alleged workplace health and safety violations to Houston-based Continental Manufacturing Co., Inc., doing business as Continental Mixers. The firm’s Houston, Texas site has 130 employees, while its parent corporation Navistar employs 16,500 workers at numerous worldwide locations.
OSHA’s investigation of the Texas facility reportedly commenced when an employee lodged a formal complaint that contained allegations of a work injury sustained while operating unguarded power tools. Based on subsequent findings from ensuing inspections, Continental received 35 separate workplace safety citations.
Repeat Safety Violations Comprise Over Half of $286,000 Fine
Aggregate fines of $286,000 proposed by OSHA include $154,000 for four previous violations for unguarded machinery operation, failure to inspect lockout and tag out procedures, and endangering workers during blasting and spray painting operations.
OSHA regulations define repeat violations as identical or similar health and safety infractions cited during the past five years. Agency officials stated that inspectors found the same conditions at Continental’s Springfield, OH work site. Due to the relative severity and reoccurrence of specific hazards involved, OSHA placed Continental in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program.
Reserved for employers that repeatedly or willfully endanger employees or fail to remedy known safety violations, SVEP placement triggers mandatory continuing inspections at all worksites and operational facilities to ensure compliance with applicable safety standards.
Over 30 new OSHA violations noted
Continental also faces a total of $122,300 in proposed fines for 22 “serious” citations for failing to prevent or correct dangerous conditions with a substantial probability of causing serious work injury. OSHA inspectors cited nine additional “other than serious” violations that carry possible fines totaling $9,900.
Injured? Seek Help from a Lawyer
Diligent employees who perform long days of skilled labor to earn livelihoods that generate corporate profits are entitled to safe, healthy work environments. Anything less is not only unethical but also unlawful and may trigger employer liabilities that extend far beyond regulatory fines and Texas worker’s compensation benefits.
Severe injuries and exposure to toxic substances can have long-term consequences like permanent disability or even terminal illness due to latent disease processes. As such, the assistance of an experienced lawyer is critical to ensure you seek appropriate compensation for damages you have suffered.
Many workers may accept a settlement without consulting an experienced lawyer with knowledge and practical experience in occupational safety damage claims. This could result in the injured party getting much less than what was truly appropriate in their situation. Do not settle for less without first discussing your rights in a free consultation. Contact Attorney Group for Texas today. We can provide a free consultation where we discuss your situation, help you determine if you have a claim, and connect you with an affiliated attorney who can assist you throughout the legal process. Contact us today.