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Company fined for machinery safety violations after 3 amputations

Industrial workers in Arizona trust employers to do their part in keeping employees safe. This includes everything from machinery safety and precautions to proper training and oversight. When a company fails to take the necessary steps to ensure employees' safety and prevent repeat accidents, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration typically steps in.

In another state, Alliance Laundry Systems was recently cited and fined by OSHA after the company experienced its third workplace injury in less than a year. Between Aug. 2015 and July 2016, three different employees lost a finger to amputation by the plant's machines. The most recent accident is said to have occurred after the company continued to use a hydraulic press without additional safety guards, despite the fact that the tip of an employee's middle finger had been cut off by the machine previously.

Because OSHA had already cited Alliance for safety violations with no apparent result, the incidents were designated as "willful violations" – a term indicating that the company was indifferent to the safety of its workers -- and issued a fine of $124,709. Alliance has since settled the citation. Settling halved the fine and allowed the accident classification to be downgraded to "repeat violations."

Along with the settlement comes the stipulation that the company will hire additional workers to supervise machinery safety and to do an analysis of injury risks at the plant, then take any necessary steps to prevent future injury. Alliance workers will also be sent to training seminars. Hopefully these new precautions and regulations will help prevent further injuries, but they don't do anything for the employees who were already injured. Anyone who is injured on the job will likely be faced with medical bills and may be unable to work for some time, if ever again; they may benefit from contacting an Arizona lawyer with experience in workers' compensation claims who will fight to ensure they receive the maximum amount in benefits.

Source: thenorthwestern.com, "Alliance Laundry settles OSHA citation", Nate Beck, Jan. 24, 2017

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Jerome, Gibson, Stewart, Stevenson, Engle & Runbeck, P.C., provides experienced representation for workers' compensation cases in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe, Mesa, Gilbert, Glendale, Peoria, Avondale, Casa Grande, Flagstaff, Prescott, Tucson and Yuma, and throughout Maricopa County, Pima County, Pinal County and Yavapai County, and all of Arizona.

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