Posts Tagged ‘Occupational Safety and Health Administration’

OSHA Dings Food Ingredients Manufacturer $300K Over Machinery Hazards at NY Plant

Let’s hope this New York manufacturer has learned its lesson about its legal obligation to keep a safe workplace.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Marshall Ingredients LLC for failing to protect employees against amputations and other hazards at its Wolcott facility. The food ingredients manufacturer and distributor faces $300,062 in proposed penalties.

OSHA opened an inspection in July 2017 after a temporary employee suffered a hand amputation. The company was cited for willful and serious violations for failing to provide machine guarding to protect employees from contact with operating machinery; failing to develop procedures and provide training on how to prevent the unexpected startup of machinery; and exposing employees to fall, confined space, chemical, mechanical, electrical, and combustible dust hazards.

OSHA also cited the temporary staffing agency, People Ready, with two serious violations for lack of hazardous energy control and fire extinguisher training. Proposed penalties totaled $24,020.

“This incident could have been prevented had adequate machine guards been in place,” said OSHA Syracuse Area Office Director Christopher Adams. “Employers have a responsibility to implement and maintain safeguards to protect their employees from amputation hazards.”

The companies have 15 business days from receipt of their 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. The citations for Marshall Ingredients can be viewed here and here. The citations for People Ready can be viewed here.

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 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.

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When the Rubber Doesn’t Meet the Worker Safety Road: $69K Fines for Violations at Goodyear Tire

Made in America is a great slogan and aspiration–but at what price worker safety?

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) today issued seven serious citations against Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. for exposing its employees to burn, hazardous energy, amputation, and caught-in safety hazards. The company faces proposed penalties of $69,058.

OSHA investigators inspected Goodyear’s Social Circle facility in August 2017, and found that the company failed to provide effective personal protective equipment to employees exposed to burn hazards; did not provide procedures for controlling hazardous energy during equipment maintenance operations; and exposed employees to burns from heated tire treads, and caught-in hazards from unguarded machines.

“Our inspection found multiple safety deficiencies that put employees at risk of serious injury or death,” said OSHA Area Office Director William Fulcher, in Atlanta. “Potential workplace hazards must be assessed and eliminated to ensure employees are afforded a safe work environment.”

The company has 15 business days from receipt of its 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 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.

OSHA Socks Pa. Firm for Safety Violations

A Pennsylvania company has come up short on its obligations to workplace safety.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited US Environmental Inc. for 12 safety violations, including willfully exposing workers to confined space and fall hazards at its Downingtown location. The company faces proposed penalties of $333,756.

Investigators inspected the facility on May 31, 2017, and found that the company failed to implement rescue procedures for employees in confined spaces; provide protective equipment when working in confined spaces; and provide employees with fall protection training and equipment. OSHA cited the company for one other-than-serious, four willful, and seven serious violations.

“It is fortunate that workers did not suffer serious injuries or worse,” said OSHA Area Office Director Theresa Downs, based in Philadelphia. “Employers must follow appropriate atmospheric testing procedures, and provide adequate training and safety equipment to protect workers from potential confined space hazards.”

The company has 15 business days from receipt of its 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.

Six-Figure Fine Against Ct. Company That Exposed Workers to Excessive Mercury

Federal workplace safety regulators finally got wind of high exposure levels of mercury at a New Hampshire workplace.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Manafort Brothers, Inc. for exposing workers to mercury and respirator hazards while they dismantled a mercury boiler at a Portsmouth worksite. The Plainville, Connecticut, construction contractor faces penalties of $329,548.

OSHA’s inspection – in response to workers’ complaints – found that employees were being exposed to high levels of mercury during the demolition and Manafort Brothers Inc. was not taking steps to reduce those exposures to below permissible levels. In addition, the company did not evaluate the respirator program’s effectiveness in protecting workers against exposures and did not consult with the employees to identify and correct any respirator problems.

“These hazards were certainly preventable,” said OSHA’s New Hampshire Area Director Rosemarie O. Cole. “High mercury exposure can result in permanent nervous system and kidney damage. It is critically important that employers remain vigilant and ensure that effective safeguards are in place to prevent and minimize workers’ exposures.”

In total, OSHA cited the company for two willful and six serious violations concerning mercury, respirators, protective clothing, and sanitary conditions.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of its 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.

OSHA Gives Company Go-Ahead to Test More Equipment and Materials for Safety Standards

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration gave the thumbs-up today to a company to test more equipment and materials used in workplaces

The announcement in today’s Federal Register recognizes. Intertek Testing Services NA, Inc. (ITSNA), as a Nationally Regulated Testing Laboratory for 7 additional products.

OSHA recognition of a NRTL signifies that the organization meets the requirements specified by 29 CFR 1910.7. Recognition is an acknowledgment that the organization can perform independent safety testing and certification of the specific products covered within its scope of recognition and is not a delegation or grant of government authority. As a result of recognition, employers may use products properly approved by the NRTL to meet OSHA standards that require testing and certification of the products.

OSHA’s recognition of any NRTL for a particular test standard is limited to equipment or materials for which OSHA standards require third-party testing and certification before using them in the workplace. Consequently, if a test standard also covers any products for which OSHA does not require such testing and certification, a NRTL’s scope of recognition does not include these products.

Check the announcement for a list of appropriate test standards for inclusion in the company’s recognition as an NRTL.

Thanks to Jon Hyman for referencing this blog post in his weekly compilation of must-read blogs.

 

OSHA Leans on NY Plant to Trim Lead Exposure

Employees at a New York City manufacturing plant can look forward to less lead in their worksite.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Acme Parts, Inc., of Brooklyn have reached a settlement agreement to improve Acme Parts’ workplace safety and health.

OSHA found high levels of lead throughout the facility presenting serious lead hazards to employees. Workers who ingest or inhale lead are at risk of serious lead-induced health hazards, including hypertension; cardiovascular, kidney, and neurological diseases; adverse reproductive effects; and cancer.

Under the terms of the agreement, Acme Parts will pay $40,000 in penalties. Additionally, Acme Parts has agreed to hire a qualified lead hazards and abatement consultant to evaluate the facility and to recommend improved practices.

“Once implemented, the changes from the Acme Parts’ settlement will have a significant and long-lasting impact for workers at this facility,” said OSHA Regional Administrator Robert Kulick.

“The fines and abatement measures packaged together will raise awareness among employers working with leaded brass about the potential serious health effects of occupational lead exposure. This result highlights the need for comprehensive risk assessment and implementation of policies, procedures, and equipment to reduce such exposure,” said Regional Solicitor of Labor Jeffrey S. Rogoff.

OSHA cited the company in April 2016 after an inspection by its Manhattan Area Office. Attorneys Kathryn L. Stewart and R. Alexander Cárdenas of the Department’s New York Regional Solicitor’s Office litigated the case.

OSHA Enforcement Back on in Tex., Louisiana

If you operate a business in Texas and Louisiana, the pause in  workplace safety enforcement is over.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which had ceased most programmed enforcement actions following Hurricane Harvey, resumed normal enforcement throughout Texas and Louisiana, effective on Oct. 10.

Following Hurricane Harvey, OSHA provided compliance assistance and outreach to employers and workers in a number of counties and parishes in Texas and Louisiana. This action enabled OSHA’s staff to provide faster and more flexible responses to hazards facing workers involved in the cleanup and recovery operations. Thousands of crews and individual workers received job safety and health technical assistance. OSHA retained the right to inspection cases involving fatalities, catastrophic accidents, employee complaints, and employers who repeatedly exposed employees to serious hazards during cleanup and recovery operations.

“We are now able to resume regular enforcement operations in most of the impacted areas,” said OSHA’s Region VI Administrator Kelly Knighton. “For those areas most heavily impacted by Hurricane Harvey, we will continue to provide employers and workers with compliance assistance and outreach. We will be monitoring these areas closely, and as they transition from cleanup and recovery to normal operations so will OSHA’s enforcement.”

Employers and employees working in these areas may call OSHA’s toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or visit the agency’s website to reach Texas representatives who can provide on-site assistance.