Companies in North Carolina have an obligation to keep their employees safe and healthy to the best of their abilities. That is why the Occupational Safety and Health Administration exists – to ensure that businesses are following outlined protocols that will minimize risk to workers. However, OSHA officials claim that one company in another state failed to do just that by subjecting employees to toxic exposure.
The company in question is a manufacturer of aluminum castings. OSHA has been investigating it since getting a medical referral in the fall of 2018. Apparently, three employees have been diagnosed with occupational hypersensitivity pneumonitis. Simply put, OSHA believes these workers have suffered significant lung damage from inhaling metalworking fluids.
The company has been fined over $26,000 due to citations of failing to protect employees from exposure to airborne metalworking fluids during machining operations and failing to evaluate respiratory hazards. The company has stated that it wants to meet with OSHA officials and that it considers the safety of is workforce a priority. In accordance with OSHA regulations, the company has 15 business days to comply with OSHA’s citations, seek a meeting or formally contest the findings.
North Carolina employees have a reasonable expectation of safety in their workplaces. They also have legal rights of which they may be unaware. Anyone who has been harmed as a result of toxic exposure in his or her workplace can file for workers’ compensation benefits. An experienced attorney can assist is navigating the process should the injured worker decide to exercise that right.