Please read and react to the current event article pasted or linked below. Your

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Please read and react to the current event article pasted or linked below. Your response should be a minimum of 10 sentences. In your response, discuss what you should focus on during the inspection, in particular, how to lessen potential fines and document your future action to comply with the applicable regulations. “Please do not forget to cite your web resources.”
Arika Herron/Winston-Salem Journal
Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools are facing more than $31,000 in penalties for workplace safety violations.
The fines and penalties stem from an investigation into the district’s transportation department by the N.C. Department of Labor for suspected violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s workplace health and safety standards. The investigation uncovered 27 violations, including deficits in employee training, missing guards on fans and machines, machines that were not securely anchored to the floor and failure to have written programs for employees, among other things.
The investigation into the district’s bus garage was triggered by high number of incidences of illness and injuries reported on the district’s OSHA log.
Superintendent Beverly Emory said the incidence rate was inflated by improper reporting, such as not providing a complete list of employees at the garage.
Once the reporting errors were corrected, the incidence rate fell to just more than 5 percent, from nearly 15 percent. The corrected rate was still higher than OSHA’s national target of 3.27 percent, triggering a comprehensive inspection.
The inspection, including three on-site inspections and employees interviews, was conducted at the bus garage and completed before the school attorney’s office was notified on Oct. 10. A closing meeting was held with the OSHA inspector on Oct. 22, during which each potential violation was discussed in detail, Emory said. The district received the violations and citations Nov. 7 and made them public (as required by law) at Tuesday night’s meeting of the Board of Education.
Of the 27 violations, eight were considered non-serious and 19 considered serious. Of the 19 serious violations, 11 of them carried penalties totaling $31,100.
All but two of the violations have been corrected already. Emory said the district was in the process of abating the final two violations, which including developing a site-specific written exposure control plan for school bus drivers potentially exposed to blood borne pathogens and conducting a training program on the general principals of fire extinguishers for employees who would use an extinguisher to put out incipient stage fires. Emory said the remaining concerns should be fully abated within the next couple of weeks.
An informal conference with OSHA will be scheduled, during which the district hopes to see a reduction in the fines assessed to it. Emory said the district has made its first priority addressing the concerns raised by the inspection, as the quick work of the district to correct those could help reduce fines.
“We had violations,” Emory said, “but I’m grateful that no one was hurt and I’m grateful we can correct them quickly.”
Emory said it’s likely the violations have accumulated over time, especially as the district has been without an assistant transportation director. That position, under which much of this work would fall, has been open since 2008, Emory said. The district also currently has an interim, part-time transportation director. Emory said that after all of the violations have been corrected, the district will turn its attention to finding a full-time transportation director and addressing the bus driver injuries that caught the Department of Labor’s attention in the first place. Those injuries were not caused by the violations at the bus garage, Emory. Emory said the district will also look to conduct an audit of the rest of the district’s departments to look for other potential violations before they become fines.
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