Posts Tagged ‘workplace safety’

OSHA Dings Employer $223K for Safety Violations Resulting in Employee’s Death at Plant

Nothing this employer does now will bring this dead employee back to life–but maybe it can prevent the next tragedy from occurring.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Kerry Inc. for failing to provide fall protection to employees working in the company’s facility in Greenville, Missouri. The food flavoring company faces $223,525 in penalties for one willful and eight serious safety violations.

An employee fatally fell while trying to extinguish a fire at the plant. After an April 2019 inspection, OSHA determined that the company failed to designate, train and educate a fire brigade properly on how to respond to such emergencies; evaluate hazards to determine the need for personal protective equipment; provide approved self-contained breathing apparatus; complete required safety data sheets; and repair damaged parts. OSHA has placed the company in the Severe Violator Enforcement Program.

“This preventable tragedy should remind all employers of their obligation to evaluate their training programs and safety procedures continually, and to provide refresher training to ensure that workers are prepared for potential emergencies,” said OSHA St. Louis Area Director Bill McDonald.

OSHA offers compliance assistance resources on preventing fallspersonal protective equipment, and respiratory protection.

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.

My thanks to Jon Hyman for featuring this blog post in his October 11 weekly roundup for the Ohio Employer Law Blog.

Book Him, Danno: Ohio Court Sentences Roofing Contractor to 3 Years Following Worker’s Death

Maybe some time behind prison walls will persuade this contractor to not ignore workplace safety violations.

An Ohio county court has sentenced Jim Coon – a roofing contractor based in Akron, Ohio – to prison after he pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter in the death of a 39-year-old employee who fell from a three-story roof while working without required fall protection in November 2017. The court’s action follows an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) that found the contractor failed to install fall protection systems.

On September 6, 2019, Summit County Judge Alison McCarty sentenced Coon – owner of Jim Coon Construction – to three years in prison for ignoring safety hazards, and failing to provide workers’ compensation coverage as required. In addition to his incarceration, the court ordered Coon to pay $303,152 in restitution to the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation after he pleaded guilty to workers’ compensation fraud.

“Falls continue to be the leading cause of fatalities in the construction industry, which makes the use of proper protection essential,” said Loren Sweatt, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health. “Jim Coon willfully disregarded OSHA fall protection regulations that could have prevented this tragedy. This case should serve as a reminder to all employers to comply with their legal obligation to provide required safety equipment, and protect employees on job sites.”

OSHA offers compliance assistance resources on how to prevent falls from ladders, scaffolds, and roofs on the Fall Protection webpage at https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/fallprotection.

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.

By the way, Book Him Danno is an expression from Hawaii Five-0.

Keystone State, OSHA Enter Safety Alliance

It’s good to see the federal government and the states working together to make workplaces safer. Here’s the latest example.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has signed a two-year alliance with the Pennsylvania OSHA Consultation Program at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry’s Bureau of Workers’ Compensation to provide employers and employees with information, guidance and access to training resources to promote safe and healthful workplaces.

The new alliance between OSHA’s Pennsylvania area offices in Allentown, Harrisburg and Philadelphia, and the two partners, will focus on promoting safety and health training, workplace safety and an understanding of employees’ rights and employers’ responsibilities under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act).

The OSHA Alliance Program fosters collaborative relationships with groups committed to worker safety and health. Alliance partners help OSHA reach targeted audiences, such as employers and workers in high-hazard industries, giving them better access to workplace safety and health tools and information.

Under the OSH 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 Fines 3 More Contractors in Push to Eradicate Safety Violations at Construction Sites

The number of employers  exposing their workers to construction site hazards keeps mounting up. In hopes that publicity will stem this tide, here are three more contractors penalized for these safety infractions.

First up is H. Berra Construction Co. – based in St. Louis, Missouri, cited by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for exposing employees to excavation hazards at a residential construction site in Saint Charles, Missouri. The company faces penalties of $143,206.

OSHA opened an investigation after inspectors observed employees working in an inadequately protected trench. OSHA alleges that J.H. Berra Construction Co. failed to use a protective system in an excavation, exposing employees to struck-by and engulfment hazards, and failed to ensure a competent person conducted daily inspections for hazards prior to allowing employees to enter a trench.

OSHA cited the company for one willful and two serious citations for failing to protect employees from cave-in hazards following its February 14, 2019, investigation.

“Trench collapses and cave-ins pose a serious threat to workers’ lives, but the risks can be prevented by complying with safety requirements that exist to protect workers,” said OSHA St. Louis Area Director Bill McDonald.

OSHA recently updated the National Emphasis Program on preventing trenching and excavation collapses, and developed a series of compliance assistance resources to help keep workers safe from these hazards. The agency’s trenching and excavation webpage provides additional information on trenching hazards and solutions. The page includes a trenching operations QuickCard on protecting workers around trenches, and the “Protect Workers in Trenches” poster that provides a quick reminder of the three ways to prevent dangerous trench collapses.

Next up: Midwest Excavating LLC , cited by OSHA for exposing employees to trench cave-in hazards at a jobsite in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The company faces penalties of $58,343.

OSHA initiated an inspection of the jobsite after receiving a complaint of employees allegedly working in an inadequately protected trench. Inspectors determined that there was a potential for a trench collapse due to the presence of water, vertical walls, and a depth greater than seven feet. OSHA cited Midwest Excavating for one willful and one serious citation for failing to protect employees from cave-in hazards.

“OSHA regulations require the use of trench protective systems in all trenches deeper than five feet,” said Sheila Stanley, Sioux Falls Area Director. “Employers can prevent a cave-in by sloping, shoring, or shielding trench walls.”

Finally,  OSHA has cited Payne Enterprises Inc. – a plumbing contractor based in Dayton, Ohio – for exposing employees to multiple trenching and excavation hazards following an employee fatality. The company faces penalties of $145,860.

The employee suffered fatally injuries in a trench collapse at a residential construction site in Bellbrook, Ohio. OSHA cited Payne Enterprises Inc. for two repeated violations for not having a competent individual inspect the trench before allowing employees to enter, and for failing to install an adequate protective system to prevent the trench collapse. OSHA cited the company for similar violations in 2017 and 2018. The Agency has placed the company in the Severe Violator Enforcement Program.

“Tragedies such as this are preventable when employers comply with safety standards that exist to protect workers from trenching hazards,” said OSHA Area Director Ken Montgomery, in Cincinnati, Ohio. “OSHA regulations require employers to slope, shore, or shield trench walls to prevent cave-ins.”

Resources on protecting workers from trenching hazards are available on OSHA’s trenching and excavation webpage.

Each 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.

Instead of being reactive, how about construction contractors being pro-active in finding and fixing these hazards before they injure their workers.

N.J. Company Cited for Repeat Safety Violations; Penalties for Recidivism Accumulate to $236,000

Repeat violators of workplace safety rules only dig their financial holes deeper.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Paris Produce Inc. for failing to correct workplace hazards identified during an August 2017 investigation at the wholesale supplier’s facility in Pleasantville, New Jersey. The company faces $236,089 in penalties.

OSHA initiated a follow-up inspection in January 2019, after Paris Produce Inc. failed to respond to citations issued in the 2017 investigation. During the follow-up visit, OSHA inspectors found two failure-to-abate violations for allowing employees to operate forklifts without proper training, and failing to develop and implement a hazard communication program for employees using chemicals for cleaning and sanitation. Inspectors also identified two repeat violations involving blocked exits and failing to train employees on hazardous chemicals.

“By failing to fix previously cited hazards, Paris Produce continues to expose employees to preventable workplace safety and health hazards, which is unacceptable,” said OSHA Area Director Paula Dixon-Roderick, in Marlton, New Jersey.

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 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.

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.

My thanks to Jon Hyman for featuring this blog in his August 23 weekly roundup of blogs he’s read at the Ohio Employer Law Blog.

OSHA Reminder: 2018 Employer Data Due Now

Employers that haven’t yet sent the federal government their data on workplace injuries and illnesses for 2018 should do so now.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) last Friday reminded employers who have not already done so to submit their 2018 OSHA Form 300A (Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses).

Who is required to submit Form 300A?

How to submit Form 300A:

Submit injury and illness data electronically at www.osha.gov/300A.

For questions about submission requirements, complete the Help Request Form at www.osha.gov/injuryreporting/ita/help-request-form.

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 www.osha.gov.

My thanks to Jon Hyman for linking to this blog post in his August 16 weekly roundup for the Ohio Employer Law Blog.