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Wisconsin work accident: Wal-Mart makes a deal with OSHA

One of the most important things any Wisconsin employer can do for its employees is to make sure they are safe while at work. When an employer fails to do that, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration gets involved. Sometimes, they become involved after a work accident, but sometimes, they get involved through a routine inspection.

It was an OSHA inspection that led to the discovery of certain safety violations at a Wal-Mart. The resulting settlement with the Department of Labor requires Wal-Mart to make certain improvements in its safety procedures and training. The retail giant was also fined $190,000 for the violations.

The violations centered around the lack of safety precautions and training regarding the use of cleaning chemicals and trash compactors. The settlement affects over 2,800 stores, including the ones in Wisconsin. The hazards identified in the inspection report are to be fixed and additional training is to be provided to ensure that employees are aware of how to properly use the chemicals and equipment.

Even large corporations like Wal-Mart have to be held accountable for ensuring the safety of their workers. This is why government organizations such as OSHA exist. When a work accident occurs, not only is an employee entitled to workers' compensation benefits, but agencies such as OSHA come in to conduct an investigation to be sure that companies are providing their employees with a safe work environment. If not, fines are levied against that company and they are required to remedy whatever deficiencies are found. It doesn't take an injured worker to get the attention of OSHA, and sometimes, a concerned employee just wants to make things better at work.

Source:, "Wal-Mart Agrees to Safety Fixes at Wis. Stores," Aug. 7, 2013

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