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Although employers are responsible for providing adequate training to prevent employee injury, they must also install safety equipment to keep workers safe at the job site. According to SafetyTopics.com, experience in an industry is not enough to prevent worker injury.
"Experience can be useful in recognizing what can hurt you, as long as you don't get complacent towards hazards," the website said. "That is where safety equipment provides the last line of defense no matter how much experience you have."
Injury to employees can still occur even if they have a solid background in a career field. However, the injuries can be prevented by using safety equipment.
Proper safety equipment includes more than just goggles or ear plugs. Fire and gas detection systems will alert employees to dangerous conditions or when they could potentially be injured.
While accidents happen, safety equipment can prevent injury when accidents occur. Even the most experienced employees with adequate knowledge and training should be surrounded by working safety equipment.
Illinois facility issued safety citations
When employers fail to provide proper safety equipment and employees are injured, companies are often investigated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. For instance, a worker injury at an Agri-Fab manufacturing plant in Illinois sparked an OSHA investigation. The worker suffered an amputation injury, which may have been prevented if the worker was properly trained and adequate safety equipment was in place. OSHA proposed a fine of $93,500 against the company for repeat safety violations that led to the working injury.
"Agri-Fab has a responsibility to recognize the hazards that exist in its workplace and ensure employees are properly trained in the safe operation and maintenance of equipment they are required to use," said Tom Bielema, OSHA's area director in Peoria, Illinois. "Employers who are cited for repeat violations demonstrate a lack of commitment to employee safety and health."
The manufacturing facility's repeat violations included failure to provide employee training on energy controls requiring lockout devices to prevent equipment from unexpectedly becoming energized. Repeat violations occur when an employer has previously been cited for the same or similar violation set by OSHA. The company's prior violations were issued in January 2012 at the same factory in Illinois. The company has 15 days after receiving the citations and proposed penalties to agree and pay the fines or appeal them to OSHA.
Industrial Safety News brought to you by Safety Systems Technology, Inc., leaders in fire and gas detection systems.