Although OSHA doesn’t have the resources to inspect all businesses within its authority, it does make more thorough inspections of companies that record a higher than average injury and illness rate. One company targeted by OSHA for a higher rate of job injuries was the Illinois scrap recycling center owned by Midland Davis Corp. OSHA cited Midland Davis for 19 safety violations that carry fines of $64,680 after inspecting its Moline recycling center.
The April 2013 inspection resulted in 13 serious safety violations, including failure to provide fall protection for elevated platform work, lack of safety guards for machines, and failure to remove damaged equipment and vehicles from operation. Under OSHA definitions, a serious violation carries a substantial probability of death or serious worker injury from a known hazard. OSHA also cited the company for two repeat violations: failing to conduct regular inspections of energy control procedures and failing to train and rate each operator of a power industrial vehicle.
There were similar citations at the company’s Pekin site in April 2012. According to the OSHA area director in Peoria, these caused an environment conducive to worker injury on the job. His report cites the company’s failure to correct prior deficiencies as displaying a ‘lack of commitment’ to employee safety and health. The company may contest the charges within 15 days, or it must abate the conditions and pay the proposed fines.
In Illinois, a worker injured on the job is entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Benefits for job injuries include payment of all medical bills, treatment, surgery and rehabilitation deemed necessary by the physicians. It also includes payment of a statutorily designated percentage of the worker’s average weekly pay each week until the worker is cleared to go back to work by the treating physician. Many conflicts arise in worker injury cases when a worker is not authorized by his doctor to return to work but the employer’s doctor says that the worker is no longer disabled. When that kind of dispute arises, it’s highly advantageous to obtain the services of an experienced workers’ compensation practitioner to protect your rights and present a strong administrative claim.
Source: Waste & Recycling News, “OSHA finds 19 alleged violations at Illinois scrap metal recycling center,” Catherine Kavanaugh, July 9, 2013