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OSHA fines amusement park for summer safety violations

It is a primary responsibility of every employer to ensure that workers are safe while performing their jobs. This is true everywhere in the country, including Pennsylvania. When employers fail to meet this responsibility, they can be cited and fined by federal and state agencies that are charged with making sure workers are safe. This responsibility recently led the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration to fine a Pennsylvania amusement park operator.

According to OSHA, the operators of Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom in Allentown were recently fined $7,000 for their failure to protect employees from extreme heat during the peak of summer business. The fine comes after a teenage employee blacked out in early June near a food fryer; the worker apparently suffered burns in the incident.

OSHA is also seeking an additional $2,000 in fines for improper record keeping by park owners. OSHA says the park also should have adequate facilities for employees who working outdoors through the summer. Per OSHA regulations, the amusement company has 15 days to appeal the OSHA decision.

Violations of federal and state safety regulations often lead to workplace accidents and injuries. For this reason, punishing an employer is a critical aspect of enforcing safety regulations. Such after-the-fact enforcement does nothing to address the financial difficulties that injured workers often face, however. Fortunately, employers are required to carry workers' compensation insurance to provide benefits to workers who have suffered injuries or contracted illnesses in the workplace.

Despite the existence of workers' compensation laws, however, obtaining benefits is often difficult, a task often made even harder by physical and emotional trauma after an accident. For this reason, any worker who is injured on the job or sickened by work-related conditions should consult an experienced workers' compensation attorney who can help the worker through the entire workers' compensation claim process.

Source: Penn Live, "Dorney Park fined by OSHA over heat-related hazards for employees," Dec. 29, 2014

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