A New Jersey based rifle manufacturer has come under fire from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) based on allegedly creating an unsafe workplace for its workers. The company's rifle manufacturing requires weapon polishing and test-firing procedures, which necessitate workers to wear protective headgear due to high noise levels. The need for protective gear is outright stated in the company's product manuals. However, it was found that the manufacturer failed to provide its employees with proper ear protection, causing multiple hearing-related issues among its workers.
An investigation into this issue was carried out in February 2016, following up on an investigation from 2012. The investigators found that there was no effective hearing conservation program for the employees affected by the extremely high noise levels. Additionally, OSHA determined that the employer did not properly provide training regarding noise hazards to employees. The manufacturer also did not follow up with incidents in which hearing loss had taken place. Due to these oversights, the affected employees are owed Workers' Compensation benefits.
OSHA Violations in the Workplace
OSHA guidelines must be strictly followed in workplaces. If a workplace does not follow OHSA guidelines, they could face steep fines. Additionally, they will be liable for Workers' Compensation for any individuals affected by their harmful practices. There are four types of violations outlined by the OSHA:
- Willful: a willful OSHA violation is one in which an employer knowingly failed to comply with legal requirements and displayed indifference in regards to worker safety.
- Serious: a serious OSHA violation refers to a workplace hazard that could cause fatality or serious physical harm.
- Repeated: if an employer was cited in previous inspections for a hazard or violation, they will incur additional penalties due to a repeated violation.
- Other-Than-Serious: a violation which impacts the health and safety of employees, but not in a particularly serious way, is referred to as "Other-Than-Serious." Other-Than-Serious OSHA violations still incur penalties.
The New Jersey rifle manufacturer in question was found to be responsible for three repeated violations, four serious violations, and one other-than-serious violation.
Vineland Workers' Compensation Lawyers at Rone & Kowalski, LLC Fight for Injured Workers in New Jersey
If you or someone that you know has been the victim of harmful practices by an employer and is seeking Workers' Compensation in New Jersey, the Vineland Workers' Compensation lawyers at Rone & Kowalski, LLC are the experienced and dedicated lawyers you need to help. From our offices in Milmay, we handle Workers' Compensation cases throughout South Jersey. Call us at 609-476-4044 x 203 or contact us online to schedule a consultation. We serve clients in Vineland, Bridgeton, Millville, Buena Vista, Maurice River Township, Upper Deerfield Township, Greenwich Township, Stow Creek Township, and Cumberland County.