Posts Tagged ‘Occupational Safety and Health Administration’

Wheels Up: $1M Fine Against Ohio Auto Parts Manufacturer for Workplace Safety Violations

This Ohio company has some serious safety upgrades to make at its worksite.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced Friday that auto parts manufacturer Sunfield Inc. has agreed to a settlement that includes a $1 million penalty, and hiring a safety and health coordinator to resolve safety and health violations found at the company’s Hebron plant.

OSHA investigated the facility in January and February 2016 after two employees suffered severe injuries when they came in contact with moving machine parts. The inspection also found that the company lacked adequate power press guarding, and hazardous energy control procedures that could have prevented the incidents.

“Employers have an obligation under the law to ensure safe and healthy workplaces,” said OSHA’s Chicago-area Regional Administrator Ken Nishiyama Atha. “In addition to paying a $1 million penalty, this company has committed to invest in the safety and health of its employees and work cooperatively with OSHA.”

As part of the settlement, Sunfield also agreed to revise die-change procedures, develop a program for ensuring installed light curtains and interlocks are functioning properly prior to each shift, work with third-party auditors to complete a safety and health audit of its facility, and meet quarterly with OSHA staff to assure implementation of this agreement.

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.

Post script: Thanks to Jon Hyman for referencing this blog post in his March 23 weekly roundup in the Ohio Employer’s Law Blog.

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Utility Dinged Six Figures For Trench Hazards

This Florida utility is a dangerous place to work, according to government safety regulators.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Jax Utilities Management Inc., a Jacksonville utilities contractor, for exposing employees to trenching hazards. The company faces proposed penalties of $271,606.

OSHA initiated its investigation after an employee was injured and hospitalized when an unprotected trench collapsed. Willful citations were issued for exposing employees to struck-by and caught-in hazards, and allowing employees to work without cave-in protection. The company was also issued a serious citation for allowing water to accumulate in the trench, which contributed to the collapse. The investigation was part of OSHA’s National Emphasis Program on Trenching and Excavation. Jax Utilities Management Inc. has been placed in OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program.

“Trenching and excavation hazards are preventable,” said Brian Sturtecky, OSHA Jacksonville Area Office Director. “This employer knowingly exposed employees to dangerous and potentially fatal hazards, and this injury could have been avoided if the employer had used required protective systems.”

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.

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.

May 11 Start Date for Beryllium Exposure Rule

It’s four years in the making, but there appears to be light at the end of the tunnel for a rule on exposure to beryllium.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced on Friday that it will start enforcement of the final rule on occupational exposure to beryllium in general, construction, and shipyard industries on May 11, 2018. This timeframe will ensure that stakeholders are aware of their obligations, and that OSHA provides consistent instructions to its inspectors. The start of enforcement had previously been set for March 12, 2018.

In January 2017, OSHA issued new comprehensive health standards addressing exposure to beryllium in all industries. In response to feedback from stakeholders, the agency is considering technical updates to the January 2017 general industry standard, which will clarify and simplify compliance with requirements. OSHA will also begin enforcing on May 11, 2018, the new lower 8-hour permissible exposure limit (PEL) and short-term (15-minute) exposure limit (STEL) for construction and shipyard industries.  In the interim, if an employer fails to meet the new PEL or STEL, OSHA will inform the employer of the exposure levels and offer assistance to assure understanding and compliance.

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 www.osha.gov.

I’ve been tracking the rule’s progress. Type in “beryllium” in the search bar to read my posts on it.

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.

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.