Posts Tagged ‘workplace safety’

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.

 

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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.

Udder Indifference: $143K OSHA Fine Proposed Against NY Dairy Products Co. for Safety Failures

The milk got too hot at this dairy plant, employees got burned, and now the federal government is fining the employer for letting that happen.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Summit Milk Products LLC, based in Waterloo, for ongoing failure to protect employees against burns at its facility. The cheese and dairy products manufacturer faces a total of $143,954 in proposed penalties for uncorrected and new hazards.

OSHA inspected the facility in September 2017, after Summit Milk Products LLC failed to inform the Department about how it corrected violations identified during a January 2017 inspection that was initiated after employees were seriously burned from heated milk in excess of 150 degrees. The Agency issued citations for failing to provide adequate personal protective equipment, and not recording injuries in the OSHA 300 log.

“Workplace injuries are preventable if employers provide appropriate safety equipment and required training,” said Christopher Adams, OSHA Syracuse Area Office Director. “Despite being cited three times in the past 14 months for similar hazards, this employer disregarded safety requirements and their employees were severely burned.”

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.

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.

DOL Gives Employers Until Dec. 15 to Electronically Report Injury and Illness Data

This day after Thanksgiving, employers can give thanks too. That they have been given more time for electronic filing of workplace injury data with the U.S. Labor Department.

To allow affected employers additional time to become familiar with a new electronic reporting system launched on August 1, 2017, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)  has extended the  date by which employers must electronically report injury and illness data through the Injury Tracking Application (ITA) to December 15, 2017.

That’s an additional weeks from a previously announced postponement of the rule until Dec. 1, 2017.

OSHA’s final rule to Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses sets December 15, 2017, as the date for compliance (a two-week extension from the December 1, 2017, compliance date in the proposed rule). The rule requires certain employers to electronically submit injury and illness information they are already required to keep under existing OSHA regulations.

Unless an employer is under federal jurisdiction, the following OSHA-approved State Plans have not yet adopted the requirement to submit injury and illness reports electronically: California, Maryland, Minnesota, South Carolina, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.  Establishments in these states are not currently required to submit their summary data through the ITA. Similarly, state and local government establishments in Illinois, Maine, New Jersey, and New York are not currently required to submit their data through the ITA.

OSHA is currently reviewing the other provisions of its final rule to Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses, and intends to publish a notice of proposed rulemaking to reconsider, revise, or remove portions of that rule in 2018.

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.