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3 myths regarding machine compliance

Georgia employers should be aware that injuries that are caused by a lack of machine safeguarding can result in expensive consequences, including an increase in workers' compensation premiums and citations from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Part of the problem appears to be that manufacturers misunderstand OSHA safeguarding requirements.

One major myth that some manufacturers have is that new machines are safe simply because the meet the safety standards and regulations. However, the reality is that the machines may not be in OSHA compliance depending on where those machines were made. Another major myth is that older machines are "grandfathered-in" due to the fact that they were built before the safety standards were established. While OSHA did have some grandfather clauses, these expired in the late 1970s. To be in compliance now, all machines must meet the minimum OSHA regulations.

Some people think that OSHA regulations only act as guidelines and are not the law. This is not the case. By law, employers are required to comply with OSHA standards that are applicable to them. They must also, by law, provide a safe workplace for their employees. In fact, OSHA states in its regulations that the machine operator and other employees must be protected from exposure to hazards.

If machines cause an on-the-job injury, it could be costly for both the employer and the employee. In many cases, an injured victim is unable to return to work for a prolonged period, requiring the company to hire a temporary replacement. With respect to the injured employee, workers' compensation benefits could provide for partial wage replacement as well as the payment of medical expenses. An attorney can describe the requirements of the claims process to such an employee.

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