Two years and a major fine later, it is difficult to know for certain whether anything has changed. When OSHA inspected Gateway Extrusions in 2013, they found a number of serious safety issues. The most dangerous of these were:
- Presses lacking safety mechanisms to prevent hands or other body parts from becoming caught in the machine
- Raised walkways that lacked proper railings and other safety features to prevent falls
- Unsecured shelving and storage units that presented a crushing risk to workers
OSHA made the company aware of these safety violations, and then assumed that something would be done to address them. We would all like to think that safety issues like these only exist because the company isn’t aware of them. In reality, some companies choose to cut corners and ignore safety issues because it is cheaper to ignore them than to fix them.
When OSHA returned in February, 2015, they discovered that Gateway Extrusions had decided to be cheap and continue to put the safety of its workers at risk. The same major issues were still apparent, and OSHA cited and fined the company the continued risk to staff of disfigurement and amputation. Perhaps a fine and a citation will be what is needed to get Gateway Extrusions to follow through and secure their facility. But the fact that nothing was done after the safety violations were first discovered in 2013 does little to raise confidence that company management puts safety first.
Gateway Extrusions is not the only company to prioritize the bottom line over people’s lives. If you or someone you love has been injured in a workplace accident, you must remember that years and years can pass before a company actually fixes the safety issue that led to your injury. Please contact a qualified attorney to help you force the company to act more quickly to make things safe for employees.