A workplace accident can happen in any kind of Missouri business. When it does, most companies will work to ensure that it does not happen again and that their employees are as safe as possible. However, there are instances where companies will not take that action. This is the accusation leveled at an out-of-state food plant after six workers recently died due to an alleged chemical leak. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration says that this plant has a history of workplace accidents.
Repeat violations endanger workers
The most recent accident at the chicken processing plant involved what authorities say was a liquid nitrogen leak. Six workers died as a result, and around a dozen more had to be hospitalized. Three of them are still listed in critical condition at an area hospital. An additional 130 workers required medical evaluation after their potential exposure.
However, OSHA representatives say that this is far from the first incident of injury to workers at this particular plant. Two different employees on two different occasions lost fingers to plant machinery, and the company had to pay more than $37,000 in fines for both incidents. There have also been reports of injury to employees involving forklifts, including one that resulted in an amputation.
The company’s future
If OSHA determines that this most recent incident is due to safety violations, the company may have to pay significant fines, especially since this reportedly is not its first infraction. Once OSHA submits its investigation findings, the company can choose to comply and pay any fines or challenge the ruling. A third option involves representatives from both OSHA and the plant meeting to further discuss the matter.
Employees of the plant or other workers who have found themselves in similar situations after workplace accidents may want to consider their legal options. Filing a workers’ compensation claim may make sense as it is a benefit available to Missouri employees and their families that may help them cover expenses related to this type of event. Those who are unsure of what the process might entail can speak with an attorney for guidance.