Federal work safety inspectors recently cited Keadle Lumber Enterprises, Inc., a lumber mill located in Thomaston, Georgia with alleged serious workplace violations that could have resulted in worker injury or death. For now, the company faces hefty fines and must address the numerous violations that Occupational Safety and Health Administration identified at the site.
$50,000 In Potential Fines
That’s what Keadle may face in the very near future for a variety of alleged OSHA violations. According to The Telegraph, the Thomaston Georgia lumber mill didn’t seem to take safety very seriously. OSHA inspectors found that the company:
- left a 100-gallon tank of diesel fuel leaking
- used a dust-collection system that was an explosion hazard and didn’t train workers to recognize the dangers of combustible dust
- let shavings, dust and wood chips accumulate in the work area
- didn’t monitor noise levels
- failed to install safety guarding on sprockets, chains and gears
- left tripping hazards unattended
- failed to warn workers of the dangers of working in a confined space
- failed to ensure that forklift drivers were wearing seat belts
In addition to the possible $50,000 fine, Keadle has 15 business days to comply, appeal or request an informal conference with OSHA.
OSHA & Workers’ Compensation Injuries
While work site accidents can happen in any workplace, the likelihood of an accident dramatically increases when you’re working in unsafe conditions. It is an employer’s responsibility to make sure that an environment is safe. According to Christi Griffin, director of OSHA’s Atlanta-West Area Office, “Employers need to be proactive in identifying and removing workplace hazards rather than waiting for OSHA inspectors to address them.”
Unfortunately, many employers do not always heed that warning. When accidents happen, it’s important to know that Georgia residents who have been injured on the job are entitled to workers’ compensation, which will help to pay for medical, rehabilitation and lost income from injuries such as:
- Muscle, tendon, ligament strains or tears from excessive lifting, pushing, pulling, holding, carrying or throwing
- Injuries caused by bending, climbing, reaching, standing, sitting, slipping or tripping without falling
- Slipping and falling to the floor or ground or from one level to a lower level
- Being struck by an object, such as a tool or piece of equipment or material falling from above
- Being smashed against an object, such as a worker being pushed into a door or wall or piece of machinery
- Being crushed by, getting caught in, or caught between pieces of machinery, equipment or objects
- Exposure to extreme temperatures (i.e., burns or deep freezes)
- Exposure to toxic chemicals
- Motor vehicle accidents
Workers who are unable to work for more than seven days are entitled to weekly income benefits based upon their earnings. Georgia’s workers’ compensation program also provides benefits to dependents of workers who die as a result of a job-related injury.
While these types of compensation should be easy to obtain, many workers’ compensation benefits are wrongfully denied for a variety of reasons including incomplete medical records, clerical errors or minor issues that could easily be remedied. The sad truth is that many injured workers simply don’t appeal. At the Mann Law Firm, we urge you not to give up – without calling us for a free consultation.
The Mann Law Firm— Helping Our GA Neighbors Obtain WC Benefits For Over 50 Years
If you have been injured on the job or have lost a loved one in a workplace accident anywhere in the Middle Georgia area, including Macon, Dublin, Warner Robins or Milledgeville, contact the Mann Law Firm. We’ve been helping our Georgia neighbors obtain the workers’ compensation they deserve for over 50 years. Call us today at 855-883-0347 to schedule a free and confidential initial consultation about your case.