The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited a New Jersey nursing home for violations after an investigation showed the home’s laundry department was hiding its own “dirty laundry.”

Based on findings from a May inspection, the agency determined that the employees of the nursing home’s laundry department were exposed to an industrial washer’s wires and excessive levels of heat. The employer also did not ensure workers wore appropriate eye protection. The nursing home now faces nearly $50,000 in penalties for the violations. It has 15 days to either comply with the citations or refute the investigation results.

In addition to providing proper wages and benefits for the employees, employers are required to provide a safe environment for their workers. Employees should be educated about safety policies, and should always be provided with proper safety equipment. If an employee suffers a workplace injury, he or she can file a workers’ compensation claim to receive workplace accident-related benefits.

An injured worker’s road to recovery can be costly, especially when medical expenses pile up. Being unable to work, an employee’s family can also be affected by the loss of income. Worker’s compensation benefits can help with such problems. An injured New Jersey worker may seek help from a legal professional to assist with the processing and filing of the benefits claim.

Additionally, a legal professional may help verify whether the accident was due to negligence on the part of the employer. During such a circumstance, an injured worker can file a lawsuit to hold the negligent employer legally responsible. The lawsuit can also entitle an injured employee compensation to deal with other accident-related damages.

Source: The Republic, “Federal officials: Southern NJ nursing home cited for OSHA violations,” Nov. 26, 2013