When the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) discovers that employers have failed in their responsibility to ensure the safety of their employees, the agency has the authority to issue citations to the employer and propose measures to protect employees from injury. OSHA also may propose fines, both to help compensate injured workers, and to send employer's the message that workplace safety is of utmost importance.
A Bedford Heights company, ILAPA Inc., has recently received citations from OSHA. ILAPA Inc. is also known as Lasting Impressions Event and Party Rentals.
Specifically, OSHA cited ILAPA with 19 safety violations. Among these violations where the failure of the party rental company to provide its workers with protection from electrical shocks, including failure to provide adequate training, along with allowing employees to use damaged power cords in wet locations without ground fault circuit interruption protection.
In addition, the Ohio business is also facing 16 serious safety violations including:
- Disregarding fall hazards
- Failure to provide eye and face protection as well as fall protection
- Allowing wall openings and stairs to be unguarded
- Not providing a hazardous communications plan
- Failure to develop an emergency plan
- Failure to keep aisles clear for trucks and as emergency exits
Together, OSHA has proposed fines totaling $154,000. ILAPA does have the opportunity to contest OSHA's finding or to request an informal conference with OSHA. At the very least, this investigation has put the Ohio employer on alert that workplace safety is a necessity and that dangerous conditions will not be tolerated.
Source: OSHA Regional News Release, "US Department of Labor's OSHA cites Bedford Heights, Ohio, event and party rental company for 19 safety violations; proposed fines total $154,000," Sept. 7, 2011