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Chimney company fined after multiple work-related injuries

Manufacturing jobs come with a certain amount of risk of bodily harm. However, the majority of companies take great care to ensure that their employees do not fall victim to work-related injuries. However, one company was recently fined for not ensuring that certain safety protocols were in place. The business is not located in North Carolina, but the story may be interesting to residents who are involved in manufacturing.

According to officials with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), a company that specializes in manufacturing materials for both the construction and restoration of chimneys was issued fines in excess of $48,000. Over a several year period, the employees at the workplace have suffered multiple injuries to their fingers. There have been approximately 20 injury reports involving crushed and/or complete and partial amputations of workers' fingers over the past several years.

OSHA described the injuries as serious and avoidable. The company was cited for not having the required safety guards installed on dangerous pieces of machinery. The report also indicated that the required fail-safe measures were not being taken on some of the equipment, which would prevent it from operating during routine servicing. Of the 14 citations, 13 were described as serious in nature, which indicates that the company should have been aware that conditions could expose workers to unnecessary risk of serious bodily harm or death. The last alleged violation related to an electrical issue.

The company has the standard 15 days to contest the findings or request an informal meeting with OSHA officials. The workers who suffered these work-related injuries may have sustained significant economic setbacks as a result of their serious wounds. While suffering an injury is a difficult experience, North Carolina workers do have access to the workers' compensation program, which is designed to provide financial assistance to those injured while on the job. Furthermore, injured workers may also refer to local resources who are experienced in ensuring that workers receive all monies to which they are entitled under current state provisions.

Source:, "Forget the Two Front Teeth: All Employees at Olympia Chimney Supply Want for Christmas Are Their Fingers", Sandy Smith, Dec. 22, 2014

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