Working in a manufacturing facility can lead to potential hazards for employees. There is machinery that must be used properly and certain other protocols that must be adhered to depending on the specific nature of the facility. If workers are not properly trained and/or employers do not take the necessary steps to ensure safety, unhealthy conditions could result, and an employee may need workers' compensation.
It was recently reported that a facility in Illinois will be closing due to being unable to pay fines and other penalties associated with the violations found after an Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspection. It was reported that the inspection found that the pet food manufacturing plant posed numerous risks for respiratory issues for workers as well as the increased risk of a potential explosion. These risks were the product of considerable amounts airborne dust that was found in the facility.
The violations led to OSHA fining the company approximately $250,000. However, a representative for the company stated that after making the changes to come into compliance with OSHA safety and health standards, the company did not have enough money to pay the fines. As a result, the company will soon be closing down the facility after finishing its last contracts.
Though it is unfortunate that the company is not able to remain open, the safety of the workers is more important. Breathing in significant amounts of dust can cause serious respiratory issues for employees, and if an Illinois worker is suffering due to such exposure, he or she may be entitled to workers' compensation. If awarded, these benefits may be able to be put toward medical expenses and other costs resulting from the work-related illness.
Source: petproductnews.com, "OSHA Standards, Penalties, Force Illinois Pet Food Manufacturer to Shutter", Oct. 15, 2014