On September 27th, 2023, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced sanctions against U.S. Battery Mfg. Augusta Inc.—a battery manufacturer based in Augusta, Georgia.
The company is facing approximately $160,000 in financial penalties for improper workplace safety practices that exposed employees to toxic hazards. In this article, our Georgia workers’ comp lawyer provides an overview of the enforcement action and explains your rights and options if you are harmed due to a toxic exposure while on the job.
OSHA Enforcement Action: Battery Manufacturer Exposed Workers to Toxic Conditions
OSHA launched a workplace safety investigation into U.S. Battery Mfg. Augusta Inc. An investigation determined that workers at the company’s Augusta, GA manufacturing facility were exposed to dangerous levels of lead. The federal agency conducted comprehensive air monitoring at the workplace and determined that workers in lunch break areas were exposed to potentially dangerous amounts of lead. OSHA issued two repeat citations after identifying absent safety controls and lead accumulation on surfaces. The company is facing $160,727 in proposed penalties.
What to Do If You are Exposed to a Toxic Substance While On the Job in Georgia
Toxic exposures are a serious problem. Comprehensive federal data shows that toxic exposures are the fifth leading cause of workplace fatalities nationwide. A toxic exposure on the job causes serious harm to an affected employee. Here are four steps to take if you are exposed to a toxic substance:
- Get Yourself to Safety: A toxic exposure is often an emergency. First and foremost, you need to move yourself away from the toxic exposure. Ensure you are in a well-ventilated area or somewhere you can breathe fresh air.
- Seek Immediate Medical Care: All toxic exposures require immediate medical care. Even if you feel fine initially, it is essential to get a medical check-up as certain chemicals can have delayed reactions or long-term effects.
- Report the Toxic Exposure: Notify your supervisor or employer about the incident immediately. To start, reporting a toxic exposure ensures that corrective measures can be taken. Beyond that, it establishes a record of the event.
- File for Workers’ Comp Benefits: Georgia law mandates employers to provide workers’ compensation for injuries or illnesses sustained on the job. You can file for workers’ comp benefits for an injury or illness related to a toxic exposure. Benefits may be available for medical care, wage replacement, and permanent impairments.
Get Help From Our Georgia Workers’ Compensation Attorney Today
At the Jewkes Law Firm, LLC, our Georgia workers’ comp attorney is a skilled, reliable, and solutions-focused advocate for people hurt on the job. If you were hurt because of unsafe workplace conditions, we can help. Call us now or connect with us online to set up your free consultation. From our office locations in Tyrone and Griffin, we advocate for the rights of injured workers in South Atlanta and throughout the wider region, including in Fayette County and Spalding County.