The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) isn't playing chicken with fines for willful safety violations on the job. When a worker at Birdsboro Kosher Farms Corp. in Birdsboro, Pennsylvania, lost a thumb while operating a mixer, OSHA decided to investigate. After making two citations for willful safety violations related to unexpected machinery start-up and eight citations for serious health and safety violations, OSHA fined the bird processing plant $314,477.
Birdsboro Kosher Farms had also been investigated in 2013, 2014 and 2015, and had faced previous citations. The company now has 15 days to pay the fine, request a meeting with OSHA or officially challenge the citation.
Workers who are injured on the job have the right to workers' compensation, regardless of whether anyone had been at fault. Workers' compensation is a benefit, and is not intended to punish employers for negligence. The purpose of workers' compensation is to provide workers access to the funds they need to start the recovery process as soon as possible without having to endure costly litigation against their employers. Workers' compensation also benefits employers by allowing them to bypass such lawsuits as well. When there is a question of sustained negligence on the part of the employer that puts worker safety at risk, however, that's where OSHA steps in.
Whether you work in a chicken processing plant or a corporate executive suite, you deserve a safe work environment that doesn't put your health and well-being at risk. If you or a loved one has been injured on the job, speak with a qualified workers' compensation attorney to secure the legal assistance you need for the fullest possible recovery.