Safety in the Maryland workplace has improved dramatically, especially since the Occupational Safety and Health Administration was set in place. Across the nation, employers have implemented new safety standards and training procedures according to the guidelines set forth by OSHA to help ensure the workplace is safe for their employees. Should an employee become injured while on the job, the workers’ compensation program is available to provide funds to help employees get back on their feet.
One of the largest utility providers in another state is under investigation as OSHA begins to probe multiple separate incidents that have injured and killed many workers. One incident occurred in May when anhydrous ammonia leaked and sent four employees to the hospital for treatment. The ammonia, which can burn skin and cause death by suffocation was blamed on a pipe that had too much pressure.
According to reports, the company has been cited in this case for not having the proper emergency response plan in place to protect the employees should an incident like this occur. The employees present during the gas leak were not wearing the required protective gear and masks. After this, another incident happened that resulted in employee deaths, which is still under investigation. An incident extremely similar in nature that injured three workers was experienced by the same company in 1997. Safety procedures and trainings were discussed, but shortly abandoned because of cost.
OSHA is called in when a workplace accident occurs to make sure that the company is providing adequate training on safety and that the working environment and the equipment are safe. Regardless of the findings of an investigation, an employee may have been injured or worse and those injured may have to miss work to recover. Medical bills, lost wages and final costs can mount quickly, leaving an unprepared family devastated. Under Maryland law, employees hurt while working on the job have the right to file for workers’ compensation. A Maryland attorney can help the victim file, and if necessary, appeal a claim.
Source: tampabay.com, “Tampa Electric, contractor fined $43,000 in gas leak“, Kathleen McGrory, Nov. 20, 2017