A Lubbock, Texas recycling company was recently cited by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for numerous health and safety violations. Jarvis Metals Recycling, Inc. received 24 violations total, as well as a proposed penalty of $64,400.
The health and safety violations included exposing workers to unguarded machinery and electrical, noise, chemical, and fall hazards at the facility on Olive Avenue. Specifically, the violations consisted of failure to maintain electrical components with regard to standards for safe electrical installations; failure to guard industrial machinery; failure to install a completed guard rail system; failure to train workers about hazards posed by cadmium and lead; failure to train workers in how to avoid falling and being struck by hazards while operating powered industrial trucks; failure to prevent too much exposure to noise; failure to provide a program that would help workers retain their hearing; failure to properly store cylinders containing compressed gas; and failure to label propane that had been stored properly. Of the 24, 20 were considered to be “serious” violations, which meant that there was a substantial probability of death or serious physical harm that could have resulted from the hazard, and that the employer either knew or should have known.
Meanwhile, the four “not serious” violations consisted of failure to remove damaged slings so that they would not be used; failure to issue approved respirators; failure to establish a program that aided people’s respiration; and failure to repair stairs that had been damaged. Less serious violations were those that had an effect on the worker’s job or health, but would likely not result in death or serious harm.
This is not the Lubbock company’s first experience with health and safety violations. In 2008, it was cited for 11 serious violation and one violation that was less serious. Several violations in 2014 are similar in type to the violations in 2008.
Within 15 days of receiving word of the violations, Jarvis Metals Recycling has the option of compliance, requesting an informal conference with an OSHA official, or content the citations in front of the independent OSHA Review Commission. One OSHA director in El Paso described the violations as “unacceptable,” stating that it was an employer’s responsibility to discover and fix workplace dangers.
Typically workers injured during the course of their employment can file a workers compensation claim if their employer carries workers compensation insurance. Workers compensation insurance bars workers from the alternative of filing a lawsuit against the employer in federal court. However, if the injury was at least partially due to a third party (such as an equipment manufacturer), the worker has the option of filing a lawsuit against that party.
If you were injured in a workplace accident, the experienced San Antonio personal injury attorneys at Carabin & Shaw may be able to help. Call our office today for more information at 1-800-862-1260.