Many diligent employers in North Carolina want to do what they can to create a safe, productive work environment for employees. Still, there are times when unsafe working conditions exist for one reason or another. Each year, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration spotlights the most common violations in an effort to encourage employers to take appropriate safety measures. OSHA breaks its violations down into industry segments. Below are the common issues for the printing industry.
Exposure to chemical hazards is a common source of workers' compensation claims. This is why OSHA cites employers that don't have a written program in place to inform workers about such hazards or provide appropriate protective measures. Another common printing industry violation is a failure to protect employees from accidental machine startups by not having lockout equipment or machine-specific procedures. A related violation involves a failure to install or maintain physical guards to protect workers from moving machine parts.
A significant number of printing industry employers also failed to provide sufficient respiratory protection or proper medical evaluations for workers. With industrial truck operations, some employers didn't provide proper training while others didn't re-certify operators as required. Other common oversights included failure to provide a formal written workplace danger assessment to determine needed personal protective equipment; open, blocked or insufficiently labeled breaker boxes, or blocking access to them; frayed wiring, excessive use of extension cords and other electrical safety issues; and not having fire extinguishers checked annually or not training employees on how to use them properly.
When a workplace accident occurs, employees typically go through the reporting and claim filing process specific to their place of employment. Should an employer fail to approve a valid worker's compensation claim, an attorney may be able to resolve the situation or recommend appropriate legal steps. Separate action beyond a standard worker's comp claim is sometimes taken if a third party, such as an equipment manufacturer, may have been responsible for a workplace accident due to negligence.