1. Without having read the specific OSHA standards, do you think the company should receive a citation?
3. Is the company liable for any of Sharon's medical expenses?
Sharon is a rebel. she always believed that rules exist to be broken, authority must be challenged, and stereotypes should be discarded. she was outspoken in her belief that artificail barriers were always being erected to prevent women from working at the best paying jobs. Thus it was no surprise when she went to work at Dayton Precision Equipment, Inc. as an apprentice too-and-die maker. The work was hard and the factory was noisy. But the pay was good, and it didn't bother Sharon that she was the only female employee on the shop floor. All the other women employed by Dayton Precision tools were in the office or the canteen. In fact she enjoyed the notoriety. She was popular with all the shop workers who believed that if she could handle the demands of the job, her gender was irrelevant.
For three years Sharon enjoyed her work. She had by far the best productivity record of all the apprentices. it was only after the accident that Sharon's supervisor and other shop managers questioned whether her "independent spirit" was hazardous to her health and well-being.
The accident occurred when she was grinding some metal. A piece of flying metal hit her in the right eye. She was taken to the hospital's emergency room where the metal fragment was removed during surgery Only minor permanent damage resulted from the accident. Sharon dowplayed the incident and seemed embarrassed by it. It was only after she had begun to receive the medical bills that Sharon decided to notify OSHA. She charged that the company was negligent in their operation of the workplace.
In response to Sharon's complaint, an investigator of the factory was made by OSHA. The company answered Sharon's charges by claiming that it provided safety glasses with side shields for all employees and counter-charged that Sharon was negligent since she would not wear these glasses. Sharon explained that she did not liike wearing the safety glasses because they didn't fit right and were uncomfortable. She said that somehow she was under the impression that only the too-makers and die-makers were required to wear the safety glasses, but not the apprentices.
The company showed the OSHA compliance officer a copy of the company safety rules where it was stated quite clearly.
"Working around high-speed machine tools presents certain dangers, so toolmakers and die makers must follow strict safety procedures. For example, safety glasses with side shields and other protection clothing must be worn to protect against bits of flying metal."
The safety rules had been read signed by Sharon at the beginning of her employment. At that time she was issued with a pair of safety glasses.
Can you tell me what OSHA means?
As I am not sure what jurisdiction this matter is in, I cannot answer the question with complete certainty (different jurisdictions have different precedents), but I can provide some guidance as I currently have a case that deals withthese issues.
1. Based on the information provided, a citation against the employer is unlikely. The employer provided safety equipment and instruction regarding its use to the employee. The employee acknowledged receipt and understanding of the same. A question remains whether the policy was enforced. Was the employee ever "written up" for not using the safety glasses would be relevant. Did she ever complain that they did not fit appropriately. Did the safety manual instruct employees to report if the safety glasses provided were ineffective? ...
OSHA standards are applied to a case.