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Pennsylvania safety products maker fined for unsafe workplace

A manufacturer of ventilation, duct and fire safety products in Montgomeryville, PA has repeatedly been cited, warned and fined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration about exposing workers to a wide variety of hazards.

All of OSHA's efforts since 2000 have been to no avail, the federal agency said recently. That's why it lowered the boom on the safety products maker that maintains an unsafe workplace, it said, issuing a fine of $822,000.

The latest company run-in with OSHA began last year after a worker suffered an injury the agency termed "gruesome." Last July, a die on a press brake machine fell onto a worker's right hand, amputating three fingers.

Perhaps worst of all, OSHA said the owner of the company knew the machine lacked required safety guards and knew the machine had not been operating properly before the worker's hand was mangled. The injury was not an isolated incident: approximately 40 serious injuries have been sustained by employees since 2000. With just 70 workers at the plant, obviously the risk of being seriously injured there are quite high.

OSHA says "more than 200,000 American workers suffer cuts, lacerations and amputations" annually while operating dangerous machinery, often machines lacking required safety mechanisms.

When workers suffer devastating injuries that can have negative consequences on their ability to continue to do their jobs and provide for their families, they often seek the help of experienced attorneys as they pursue workers' compensation benefits or Social Security disability benefits.

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