OSHA Fines Amsted Rail $610,034 for Safety Violations

OSHA Fines Amsted Rail $610,034 for Safety Violations

Chicago-based Amsted Rail was slapped with a hefty fine last month after federal investigators found that the company had subjected workers at its Groveport, OH facility to numerous health and safety violations. The penalty, which exceeded $600,000, was the largest in Ohio so far this year, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

 Some of the hazards found by OSHA inspectors at the Groveport facility included:

  •  Machine safety violations including failure to lockout machinery to prevent movement during servicing. In January 2017, a 60-year-old worker sustained a crushed leg after he was caught in a machine while conducting maintenance.
  • Silica overexposure in amounts exceeding OSHA’s permissible exposure limit. Inspectors documented four incidents of overexposure at the facility.
  • Failure to adequately guard machinery, establish a sufficient respiratory protection program, institute fall prevention measures, and provide adequate personal protective equipment for workers.

 Because of the multiple violations, Amsted Rail was placed in OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program.

 Injuries Among Railroad Workers in Ohio

With 36 freight railroads, more than 5,300 miles of track, and over 5,700 public grade railroad crossings, Ohio ranks fifth among states transporting goods by rail, according to the Ohio Public Utilities Commission (PUCO). With all this rail traffic, it’s not surprising that Ohio has a relatively high rate of injuries to railroad workers, particularly among brake, signal, and switch operators.

 According to data from the Federal Railroad Administration, there were 221 accidents connected to railroads in Ohio in 2016. One such incident involved a 37-year-old Wheeling & Lake Erie Railroad (WLE) employee who was killed in a yard switching accident in Brewster, Ohio on November 6.

 If you are a railroad employee who has sustained serious injuries in an accident related to unsafe workplace conditions, contact the railroad injury attorneys at Murray & Murray online or call (419) 664-3711 (toll-free 1-800-624-3009) today.