No company should be allowed to place profits above the safety of its workers. Recently, Progressive Gourmet Inc., a wholesale food manufacturer with a facility in Wilmington, Massachusetts, was issued a number of violations following an inspection by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Reportedly, the investigation was prompted by a number of complaints the agency received from employees. These employees may have been concerned about suffering a work related injury due to the unsafe conditions of the plant.
According to reports, the company was cited for an OSHA violation in 2008 regarding their failure to provide proper training of lock-out procedures and other safety procedures that should be in place while performing maintenance on equipment. They were issued two repeat violations for these problems, as they failed to correct them following the previous inspection.
The company was also cited for three additional serious violations involving the operation of a refrigeration system which uses anhydrous ammonia. OSHA also discovered wet floors, which were determined to be a slipping hazard in the plant. In all, $73,400 in fines has been issued against the company.
Fortunately, any worker who is injured while at work is protected under the Massachusetts workers’ compensation system. A worker who receives an injury at work, regardless of fault, is entitled to file a claim for worker’s compensation benefits. These benefits include medical treatment for any injuries suffered, as well as monetary assistance while they are unable to work. Additional benefits may be available to anyone who suffers a permanent disability as a result of a work injury. Due to the complex nature of these claims, it is important to seek an experienced worker’s compensation attorney to obtain the most successful result.
Source: OSHA.gov, “US Labor Department’s OSHA cites Massachusetts wholesale food manufacturer/distributor for energy control, ammonia and other hazards,” Jan. 16, 2013