Company Cited for Failing to Protect Workers

Sign Source USA has been cited again for worker’s safety violations. According to a report by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), this is the third time safety and health inspectors have found issues at one of Sign Source’s manufacturing location. They’ve proposed $46,970 in fines due to failing to protect workers.

Sign Source Still Not Doing Enough to Protect Workers

Sign Source USA was cited for similar issues back in 2006 and again in 2012. OSHA performed a follow-up investigation in December 2015, and found that hazards had still not been eliminated. On June 14, 2016, they cited the company for seven repeated and two serious health violations.

The main issue is that employees are not being protected from exposure to respiratory, chemical, and paint hazards. During the 2015 inspection, investigators found:

  • Rags contaminated with flammable liquids left around work areas—they are supposed to be removed daily.
  • The company was failing to provide medical evaluations, fit-testing, and training to employees to protect them from respiratory hazards.
  • Workers weren’t trained concerning certain hazardous chemical use in the facility.
  • Flammable paint thinner containers were not labeled.

Kim Nelson, OSHA area director, stated that Sign Source USA is not taking the health of its workers seriously. She reiterated that the company needs to make improvements to its health programs.

Sign Source hired a safety consultant after the 2012 citations, and stated that it had been “constantly improving safety” since that time. As a result the company has scheduled an informal conference with OSHA to discuss the proposed violations.

Chemical Hazards Can Lead to Serious Health Problems

Chemical hazards can pose a wide range of health hazards to employees. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), some of these chemicals can be toxic to the human body. They may cause cancer, reproductive problems, neurological effects, asthma, skin irritation and may even depress the immune system. These types of chemicals can also cause corrosion, fires, and explosions.

Workers can come into contact with hazardous chemicals by inhaling them, getting them on their skin, or inadvertently consuming them, if they come into contact with food or drink. However breathing contaminated air is the most common way that these chemicals enter the body. Chemical vapors that reach the lungs can pass into the blood and be distributed around the body.

OSHA requires that employers with hazardous chemicals in their workplaces “must have labels and safety data sheets for their exposed workers, and train them to handle the chemicals appropriately. The training for employees must also include information on the hazards of the chemicals in their work area and the measures to be sued to protect themselves.”

OSHA has also set exposure limits, including limits on airborne concentrations of hazardous chemicals, to protect workers.

What Are Your Rights?

Workers have the right to proper training, ventilation, and adequate safety equipment (which may include goggles, gloves, helmet, full body suits, etc.). Those who suffer from a chemical exposure injury while on the job are entitled to file a worker’s compensation claim.

At Northland Injury Law we are committed to helping workers injured on the job. As a result we have recovered millions of dollars for our injured clients. Located in the Northland of Kansas City, we have a combined 50 years of experience and provide legal services throughout Missouri. If we can help you, call us now at 816-400-4878 or send an email to: [email protected].

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