Posts Tagged ‘fines against employer’

Cookie Dough Maker Hit With Big Safety Fine

Making cookie dough is more dangerous than we realized–for the workers, that is.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Choice Products USA LLC for continually exposing employees to machine safety hazards at the cookie dough manufacturing facility in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. The company faces $782,526 in penalties, and has been placed in the agency’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program.

OSHA cited Choice Products for five egregious willful violations for failing to implement and train employees on lockout/tagout procedures to prevent unintentional contact with machine operating parts during service and maintenance. Inspectors also determined that the company failed to install machine guarding, and comply with forklift regulations.

OSHA cited Choice Products for exposing employees to similar machine hazards following an October 2016 inspection.

“The company managers developed comprehensive lockout/tagout procedures following the 2016 inspection but failed to implement their own safety program,” said OSHA Acting Regional Administrator William Donovan. “Employers are required by law to provide workers with safe and healthful workplaces.”

“Worker safety should be an employer’s top priority every day they’re open for business,” OSHA Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Loren Sweatt said. “Employers who do not comply with safety standards will continue to face the full enforcement of the law.”

OSHA offers compliance assistance resources on Safeguarding Equipment and Protecting Employees from Amputations and Control of Hazardous Energy – Lockout/Tagout.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to help ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education, and assistance. For more information, visit https://www.osha.gov.

$200K Penalty for Safety Violations at NY Plant

Packaging the food we eat mustn’t come at the cost of employees’ safety in doing the job.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) last Thursday cited Arbre Group Holding – doing business as Holli-Pac Inc. – for willful and serious violations of workplace safety and health standards at its Holley, New York, facility. The company, which packages frozen fruits and vegetables for retailers, faces a total of $200,791 in penalties.

OSHA inspectors determined that the company exposed employees to laceration and amputation hazards related to a package filler machine. Parts of the machine did not have doors to prevent employees from contacting operating parts. The access door on another part of the machine lacked an interlock mechanism to stop the machine’s operation when opening the door. OSHA also cited the company for inadequate lockout/tagout procedures and failing to train employees on hazardous chemicals in the workplace; obtain annual audiograms for employees exposed to excessive noise levels; ensure employees wore appropriate eye and face protection; and repair damaged parts on electrical equipment.

OSHA conducted the inspections under the Site-Specific Targeting Program, which directs enforcement resources to workplaces where the highest rate of injuries and illnesses have occurred.

“Employers that do not comply with the law will see full and fair enforcement,” said OSHA’s Buffalo Area Director Michael Scime. “Maintaining a safe workplace involves employers regularly conducting analyses to find and fix hazards, and training workers to recognize those hazards before they cause injury or illness.”

OSHA offers compliance assistance resources on occupational noise exposuremachine guardingcontrol of hazardous energy, and chemical hazard communication.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to help ensure these conditions for American working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education, and assistance. For more information, visit https://www.osha.gov.

OSHA Dings N.Y. Builder $224K for Fall Fatality

Employers have more work to do to make sure they protect their employees from hazards of falling.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Northridge Construction Corp. for willful and serious violations of workplace safety standards at the company’s headquarters in East Patchogue, New York. The company faces $224,620 in penalties.

In December 2018, an employee suffered fatal injuries when a structure collapsed during installation of roof panels on a shed. OSHA inspectors determined that the company failed to provide fall protection and protective helmets, did not ensure the structural integrity of the roof, and misused a ladder.

“Fall-related fatalities are preventable if employers use required fall protection systems, such as guardrails or personal fall arrest systems,” said OSHA Long Island Area Director Anthony Ciuffo. “OSHA standards are legal requirements that every employer must follow to ensure workers are protected from serious injuries.”

Northridge Construction has contested the citations and proposed penalties to the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to help ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education, and assistance. For more information, visit https://www.osha.gov. Employers can find compliance assistance resources on protecting workers from falls at https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/fallprotection/evaluation.html.

$174K Penalty in Employee’s Death From Fall

This medical center’s indifference to worker safety resulted in a worker’s death after he received an electrical shock. And for that it must pay up.

An administrative law judge with the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (OSHRC) has issued a decision affirming all safety and health citations issued by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) against Jersey City Medical Center. OSHA cited the medical center – based in Jersey City, New Jersey – for electrical hazards after a maintenance employee’s fatal fall after receiving an electric shock. The judge also affirmed OSHA’s proposed penalties totaling $174,593.

In June 2016, the decedent – who was untrained in electrical safety work practices – was repairing a ceiling light fixture when the incident occurred. The judge found that the employer willfully failed to train the employee for the hazardous electrical work he was directed to perform. A three-day hearing was held in New York City in April 2018, and the decision from OSHRC issued on June 17, 2019.

“The outcome of this case shows the employer will be held accountable for willfully exposing employees to serious hazards, and the U.S. Department of Labor stands ready to litigate such issues when employers refuse to accept responsibility,” said the Department’s Regional Solicitor Jeffrey S. Rogoff, in New York.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to help ensure these conditions for American working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education, and assistance. For more information, visit https://www.osha.gov.

Trucking Co. On Hook Bigtime for Firing Driver Who Wouldn’t Take Road in Inclement Weather

I’ll bet this trucking company will think twice before it again orders one of its drivers to take the wheel in bad weather.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has ordered Freight Rite Inc. – based in Florence, Kentucky – to reinstate a truck driver terminated after he refused to operate a commercial motor vehicle in hazardous road conditions caused by inclement winter weather. OSHA ordered the company to pay the driver $31,569 in back wages and interest, $100,000 in punitive damages, $50,000 in compensatory damages, and reasonable attorney fees, and to refrain from retaliating against the employee.

OSHA inspectors determined that the employee advised the company’s management of his reasonable apprehension of danger to himself and to the general public due to the hazardous road conditions. The termination is a violation of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act (STAA).

In addition to reinstating the employee and clearing his personnel file of any reference to the issues involved in the investigation, the employer must also post a notice informing all employees of their whistleblower protections under STAA.

“Forcing drivers to operate a commercial motor vehicle during inclement weather places their lives and the lives of others at risk,” said OSHA Regional Administrator Kurt Petermeyer, in Atlanta, Georgia. “This order underscores the agency’s commitment to protect workers who exercise their right to ensure the safety of themselves and the general public.”

OSHA enforces the whistleblower provisions of STAA and 21 other statutes protecting employees who report violations of various airline, commercial motor carrier, consumer product, environmental, financial reform, food safety, motor vehicle safety, healthcare reform, nuclear, pipeline, public transportation agency, railroad, maritime, and securities laws. For more information on whistleblower protections, visit OSHA’s Whistleblower Protection Programs webpage.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to help ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.

Broken Arm Sets Back Employer $106K

Hopefully this fine sends a message to other employers to step up the safe operations of their machinery.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Silgan Containers Manufacturing Corp. after an employee suffered a broken arm while servicing a machine at its Napoleon, Ohio, facility. The company faces proposed penalties of $106,080 for one repeat and three serious safety violations.

OSHA’s investigation found the aluminum can manufacturer failed to lockout the machine that caused the employee’s injury. The Agency cited the company for its failure to train employees on energy control procedures, perform periodic inspections of energy control procedures, and guard the machine’s pinch point. OSHA cited Silgan Containers for similar violations at its Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, plant in 2015.

“Employers are required to train their employees on proper lockout/tag out procedures to prevent the release of stored energy or unexpected startup of equipment,” said OSHA Area Director Kimberly Nelson in Toledo, Ohio.

OSHA offers compliance assistance resources on lockout-tagout hazards on OSHA’s Control of Hazardous Energy page and the interactive eTool.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to help ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education, and assistance. For more information, visit https://www.osha.gov/.

OSHA Dings Tire Mart $341K in Worker Death

Mounting a tire proved fatal for this worker at a Mississippi facility. Let’s hope other employers get the message not to let this happen at theirs.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Southern Tire Mart LLC – based in Columbia, Mississippi – for failing to protect employees from serious safety hazards after a worker suffered fatal injuries while attempting to mount a monster truck tire rim at the company’s retreading facility in Fort Worth, Texas. The company faces $341,195 in fines.

OSHA inspectors determined the company exposed employees to struck-by, tire explosion, fire, and smoke hazards, and failed to provide a restraining device or barrier, and implement lockout/tagout procedures, as required. OSHA cited Southern Tire Mart – based in Columbia, Mississippi – for 17 violations, two of which are covered under OSHA’s National Emphasis Program on Amputations.

“Tragedies like this can be prevented if an employer had followed required procedures for servicing and repairing trucks,” said OSHA Area Director Timothy Minor, in Fort Worth, Texas. “Employers must ensure that workers are trained, and can demonstrate and maintain the ability to service rim wheels safely.”

OSHA offers compliance assistance resources on servicing multi-piece and single-piece rim wheels.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citation and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.