Posts Tagged ‘Occupational Safety and Health Administration’

Fatality at Fla. Shipyard Draws Six-Figure OSHA Fine; Latest in a Series of Safety Violations at Site

This shipyard in Florida is a nightmare worksite, the way federal safety regulators paint what’s going on there.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited North Florida Shipyards Inc., a shipbuilding and repair company, after an employee suffered fatal injuries at its Commodores Point facility in Jacksonville, Florida. The shipyard faces $271,061 in proposed penalties.

The worker drowned after a pressured air manifold struck him and knocked him into the St. Johns River. OSHA has cited the employer for safety violations, including exposing employees to being struck-by, drowningamputation, caught-in, and electrical hazards; allowing scuba divers to be unaccompanied by another diver; and failing to ensure machine guarding.

“As this case demonstrates, it is important for employers to identify existing hazards, and follow required safety procedures to protect workers from serious injuries,” said OSHA Jacksonville Acting Area Office Director Buddy Underwood.

North Florida Shipyards 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 https://www.osha.gov.

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OSHA: Injury Data Due From Employers July 1

Just 48 hours to go before an important deadline for certain industries to report their safety data to federal regulators.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is reminding employers that the deadline for electronically submitting their 2017 Form 300A data to OSHA is July 1, 2018.

Electronic submissions are required of establishments with 250 or more employees that are currently required to keep OSHA injury and illness records, and establishments with 20-249 employees that are classified in specific industries with historically high rates of occupational injuries and illnesses.

For more information, and a link to the Injury Tracking Application, visit the Injury Tracking Application Electronic Submission of Injury and Illness Records to OSHA.

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.

OSHA: Fla. Contractor Guilty of Safety Violations

This utility contractor in South Florida evidently still hasn’t gotten the message that it needs to do better on worker safety.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Douglas N. Higgins Inc., a South Florida utility contractor, for exposing employees to cave-in and other hazards at a Naples worksite. The company faces $18,659 in proposed penalties.

OSHA inspected the worksite as part of the Agency’s National Emphasis Program on Trenching and Excavation. OSHA inspectors cited Higgins for allowing employees to work in a trench without cave-in protection, and for failing to maintain a safety and health program on excavation hazards. OSHA cited the contractor for violations in January 2017 when three employees succumbed to toxic gases while working in a manhole, and again in May 2018 after a steel plate fell on and fatally injured an employee.

“Despite being recently cited for violations that contributed to four worker fatalities, this employer continues to disregard well-known safety and health requirements,” said Condell Eastmond, OSHA Fort Lauderdale Area Office Director. “Employers involved in excavation work must follow safety procedures to ensure that workers are properly protected from a trench collapse and other trench 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.

POSTSCRIPT: This post was featured in the June 29 weekly roundup of the Ohio Employer Law Blog.

 

Up on the Roof: Maine Contractor on Hook With OSHA For Repeatedly Exposing Workers to Falls

Remember the James Taylor song “Up on the Roof”? And these lyrics:

“On the roof, it’s peaceful as can be
And there the world below don’t bother me, no, no”.

Turns out being on the roof has been deadly for some workers for this Maine construction company.

After multiple investigations by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit ordered a Maine roofing contractor who has operated as Lessard Roofing & Siding Inc. and Lessard Brothers Construction Inc. to implement a comprehensive safety and training program after receiving repeated citations for exposing workers to falls. The owner, Stephen Lessard, was also ordered to produce substantial documentation that will demonstrate the extent to which he is able to pay $389,685 in outstanding fines issued by OSHA.

OSHA cited Lessard Roofing & Siding Inc. and Lessard Brothers Construction Inc. for safety violations at 11 different work sites in Maine between 2000 and 2011. Stephen Lessard failed to correct the cited violations, implement appropriate safety measures, and pay accumulated fines and interest, despite being ordered to do so by the 1st Circuit in December 2011. The Court held the owner in civil contempt for defying the 2011 order.

“The 1st Circuit’s order requires Lessard to ensure that all workers at his worksites, whether his employees, employees of his subcontractors, or actual or putative independent contractors, are operating safely, after a long history of his failing to provide adequate protective measures,” said Michael Felsen, Regional Solicitor of Labor in Boston. “When necessary, as in this case, the U.S. Department of Labor will pursue appropriate measures so that employers do not flout the law or gain an unfair advantage over law-abiding employers.”

“An employer that refuses to provide effective fall safety programs, training, and safety equipment needlessly exposes its employees to deadly or disabling injuries,” said Maryann Medeiros, OSHA’s Maine Area Director.

The Court also ordered Lessard to ensure that employees and contractors use required safety equipment and fall protection; conduct worksite safety analyses and meetings; employ a “competent person” to ensure work is performed according to OSHA regulations; notify OSHA about each worksite, and allow inspectors to enter these sites; and provide financial documentation to enable the Department to determine the owner’s ability to pay the fines; submit certification of abatement of the previously cited hazards, and comply with OSHA standards.

In particular, the safety program must include recognition and acceptance of responsibility as an employer, general contractor or supervisory contractor to ensure that all their employees, independent contractors or subcontractors use all appropriate safety equipment and fall protection apparatus and follow appropriate procedures.

If the owner fails to comply with the order, the court will consider additional sanctions up to and including incarceration.

Senior Trial Attorney Maureen Canavan of the Department’s Regional Office of the Solicitor in Boston and Senior Attorney Lisa Wilson of the Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Division in Washington, D.C., litigated on behalf of OSHA.

Crane Operation Safety Rule Proposed by OSHA

Improved safety conditions for crane operators at construction site is the goal of a new proposed rule from federal workplace safety regulators.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration on May 18 announced a proposed rule to increase the safety of America’s construction sites. In addition to providing long-term clarity regarding crane operator certification requirements, the proposal reinstates the employer duty to ensure that a crane operator is qualified to safely operate equipment.

Under the proposed rule, a change to the categories of certifications for crane operators would ensure more operators are able to meet the requirement. The proposal discontinues a 2010 requirement, which never went into effect, that crane operator certification must include the crane lifting capacity for which the operator is certified. The proposal would expand the type of certification programs for crane operators.

Comments on the proposed rule may be submitted electronically at http://www.regulations.gov, the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal, or by facsimile or mail. See the Federal Register noticefor submission details. Comments must be submitted by June 20, 2018.

OSHA recently published a final rule extending the operator certification compliance date until November 10, 2018, in order to provide the agency with additional time to complete this rulemaking to address stakeholder concerns related to the Cranes and Derricks in Construction standard.

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.

Philly Contractor Hit With Multiple OSHA Fines

Workers should avoid working at this construction site in Philadelphia.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) today has again cited Hua Da Construction in Philadelphia for exposing employees to dangerous workplace safety hazards. OSHA proposed penalties of $222,152.

In October 2017, OSHA responded to a complaint of imminent danger at a company work site. OSHA cited the employer for exposing workers to electrical shock, trip, fall, struck-by, and impalement hazards; obstructed egress routes; unsafe use of ladders and compressed gas cylinders; and lack of fall protection. The Agency cited the company for similar violations in 2016.

“Employers have a legal responsibility to provide a safe and healthful workplace,” said Theresa Downs, OSHA Philadelphia Area Office Director. “This employer continued to disregard OSHA standards, and put workers at risk for injury from multiple safety hazards.”

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.

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.