In line with the safety penalties forwarded to us; Acme Widget Factory, it is a necessity according to labour department to abide by the set OSHA standards. Being subjected to regular inspection and evaluation whether the factory is abiding by the set health and safety standards, we acknowledge that we are guilty and have violated several clauses of the OSHA laws. For this, we are entitled to pay penalties while taking the necessary procedures to abate the situations (Gray, 1987). Additionally, we have the right to contest some of the penalties we feel do not favour us and are not the mistakes of the factory. The following section is an analysis of the steps we ought to take regarding every allegation, acquisition of the necessary certification documents, payment of the required fines and lastly, the contacts we will have to make in the process of complying with the OSHA standards.
Abating Actions and Options
Based on several penalties, there is a need to improve our systems which aim at controlling the effects to both the employer and the employees. Regarding the exposure to the lead fumes, the factory will put in place the following measures. First is to install new and technologically advanced welding chambers that control the exposure levels of the employees to the MIG fumes (Arbuckle et al., 1976). The system's functions through directing the fumes to a special chamber where they are treated to reduce their effects. Also, our MIG machines are conventional, and the factory is working towards replacing them with advanced machines capable of producing harmless fumes. Regarding the ventilation systems, the factory intends to modify the existing systems while repairing some malfunctioning components or install new ones that are easy to maintain and have less power consumption. Further, parts of the factory particularly the welding area will be installed with new ventilation hoods that ensure ample conditions to the welder.
Among the raised concerns by labour department is the use of personal protective equipment (PPE). Such have included using respirators in the frame assembly area. For this, the factory has put in place plans to purchase new and tight fit respirators. The new respirators will be advanced in technology, light in weight and easy to use (Arbuckle et al., 1976). According to the OSHA safety standards regarding the employee code of dressing, the employer should ensure that they are well-groomed. This is in response to the employees who were found using respirators while their facial hair was interfering with the respirators operation. For this, the factory aims at ensuring all the employees are well-groomed and strict measures taken against those who violate them.
There are also concerns regarding the exposure to training and knowledge on several issues such as how to correctly use the respirators and the safety standards to be observed when using the energy machines. The factory thus moves to introduce training programmes that will keep its employees at par with the necessary information and skills (Arbuckle et al., 1976). Examples will include the energy control programme. Options available here include on the job training or conducting external classes. Safety information is also a requirement by the safety bodies in which the factory plans to abide through setting up of notification boards and printouts regarding the health and safety observations. This will include labelling of all hazards such as dangerous chemical containers. Also, there will be safety guidelines that should be observed at all times and marked out for everyone to see. Such will include the PPE to be worn at what time and the regular checks before operating any machines. Concerns have also been raised on the environment such as loose cables and cleanliness. The factory will add washing areas to ensure cleanliness at all times while all the loose cables tied and directed towards the edges of the wall rather than across the floor.
Contesting the Penalties
To be notified to the area director within fifteen days, the factory takes a position of defending itself against some penalties and the due dates for complying with the safety standards (Gray, 1987). Regarding the penalties, though it is the obligation of the company to ensure that all the employees observe the health and safety standards, it should be noted that some employees are cunning, and the factory management cannot be there at all times to ensure all workers have their PPE at all times. Besides, records show that the factory has enough gloves and respirators for all workers. The penalties here should thus be either removed or reduced. The factory also wishes to contest on the time frame provided to comply with the health and safety standards. Some of the procedures will take time such as installing of the new welding chambers. This is as a result of the protocols to be observed and planning process. For this, the factory requests more time. We suggest we be given until January 2016.
Contacts and Documentation
While responding to the OSHA standards, several contacts will be made which will include the director of the area while contesting the penalties, arrangement of the informal conference to discuss on the way forward for the factory, and the owners and dealers of the machines to be purchased. There are also documents which should be prepared and presented to the labour offices. Such will include the certificates proofing we have abated the safety concerns, copies of the payment receipts, training records and photos to proof the factory has installed the new systems.
In conclusion, as directed by the OSHA health and safety standards, Acme Widget Factory is obliged to take several measures to abate the presented penalties. Such include installation of new systems such as the MIG welding chambers and machines. To the employees, grooming should be ensured while all workers wear personal protective equipment as required. New and improved PPE such as respirators and gloves will also be bought. Training of the workers will also be done while paying attention to the energy standards and technology skills. To ensure that everyone is aware of the safety measures required of them, notifications will be put in every place to notify every personnel on any presentable hazards.
Arbuckle, J. G., James, M. A., Miller, M. L., & Sullivan, T. F. (1976). Environmental law handbook. Gray, W. B. (1987). The cost of regulation: OSHA, EPA and the productivity slowdown. The American Economic Review, 77(5), 998-1006.
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