Posts Tagged ‘workplace safety’

OSHA: Fla. Company Ignored Manufacturer’s Safety Instructions, Employee Burned as a Result

This employer faces a nearly six-figure fine for exposing its worker to safety hazards, resulting in burn injuries.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited L.A. Disaster Relief and Property Maintenance LLC after an employee suffered burn injuries at a McDavid, Florida, worksite. The property maintenance and land clearing company faces $94,415 in penalties.

OSHA investigators determined that the company owner directed the injured employee to ignite wood and debris inside an air burn box using a torch and gasoline, which caused an explosion. OSHA cited the company for failing to implement a hazard communication program to familiarize employees with flammable and combustible dust hazards.

“This owner’s intentional disregard of the manufacturers’ safety instructions and failure to take proper safety measures resulted in serious injuries to an employee,” said OSHA Jacksonville Area Office Director Michelle Gonzalez.

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 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.’

Post-script: My thanks to Jon Hyman for posting this blog in this Friday’s weekly roundup of the Ohio Employer Law Blog.

OSHA: Safety Hazards Abound at Alabama Plants

This Alabama committed a multitude of workplace hazard sins, according to federal investigators.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Sabel Steel Service Inc. – based in Montgomery, Alabama – for exposing employees to amputation, fall, and other hazards at four of the company’s facilities. The manufacturer faces $320,261 in penalties.

OSHA conducted separate inspections at the company’s facilities in Montgomery, Dothan, and Theodore, Alabama; and in Newnan, Georgia. OSHA cited the company for exposing employees to amputations hazards; failing to use safety procedures to control the release of hazardous energy during machine maintenance or servicing; provide fall protection; conduct medical evaluations to determine an employee’s ability to use a respirator; and improperly storing oxygen, propane and acetylene cylinders; and electrical and fire hazards. The inspections are part of OSHA’s National Emphasis Program on Amputations.

“Employers are required to conduct regular assessments of their workplaces to identify safety hazards that can put employees at risk for serious or fatal injuries,” said OSHA Mobile Area Office Director Joseph Roesler.

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 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.

Company Given Max Penalty for Fall Hazards

This employer in Massachusetts let its fall safety hazards fester–and now will pay a steep monetary price exacted by the federal government.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Northeast Framing Inc. – based in Lunenberg, Massachusetts – for exposing workers to falls and other hazards following an employee’s fatal fall at an East Boston, Massachusetts, worksite in May 2018. The company faces $311,330 in penalties, the maximum allowed by law.

OSHA inspectors determined that Northeast Framing Inc. failed to provide adequate fall protection for employees, despite repeated notifications from the project’s general contractor. The company also failed to train employees to recognize and avoid fall, ladder, electrical, and other hazards; provide adequate documentation regarding the safety of forklifts; perform regular jobsite safety inspections; notify OSHA of the employee’s work-related death; and provide injury and illness logs to OSHA in a timely manner.

“Falls are the leading cause of fatalities in the construction industry. Employers must provide fall protection and adequately train workers to identify occupational hazards that can cause injury,” said OSHA Braintree Area Office Director James Mulligan.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with the OSHA area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission

Missouri Contractor Fined for Safety Lapses

Federal regulators have called out another employer for failing to protect its workers from trench hazards.

Arrow Plumbing LLC has ­admitted to willfully violating the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) safety standards ­by failing to require and enforce the use of trench boxes or other trench protection techniques ­at a home construction site in Belton, Missouri. An employee suffered fatal injuries when an unprotected trench collapsed on him as he worked.

Under terms of a stipulation and settlement agreement entered before the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, the Blue Springs, Missouri, company ­– and its successor company R2 Plumbing LLC ­– agreed to implement several safety enhancements. These include hiring a safety consultant to design and implement a trench safety program, and conduct safety and health audits; providing extensive training for employees; reporting trenching-related incidents and near misses to OSHA; conducting meetings at new worksites to address hazards; and completing OSHA construction, and trenching and excavation training courses. The company will also pay a civil monetary penalty of $225,000.

“Trenching and excavation work can be extremely dangerous,” said OSHA Acting Regional Administrator Bonita Winingham. “This settlement serves as a commitment by the employer to abate the identified workplace hazards, and implement additional safety measures to make their workplaces safer. The employer has also committed to ensuring continuous compliance with OSHA safety standards to prevent tragedies such as trench collapses from recurring.”

The agreement resolves similar violations cited following a December 2016 trench fatality and a January 2017 inspection where OSHA observed company employees working in an unprotected trench.

High Injury Workplaces Target for OSHA

Federal workplace safety officials are putting high injury businesses under the microscope.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is initiating the Site-Specific Targeting 2016 (SST-16) Program using injury and illness information electronically submitted by employers for calendar year (CY) 2016. The program will target high injury rate establishments in both the manufacturing and non-manufacturing sectors for inspection. Under this program, the agency will perform inspections of employers the agency believes should have provided 300A data, but did not for the CY 2016 injury and illness data collection. For CY 2016, OSHA required employers to electronically submit Form 300A data by December 15, 2017. The CY 2017 deadline was July 1, 2018; however, employers may still provide this information to the database.

Going forward, 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 will be required to provide this information each year by March 2.

OSHA’s On-site Consultation Program offers employers with up to 250 workers with free, confidential safety and health advice on complying with OSHA standards, and establishing and improving safety and health programs.

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.

My thanks to Jon Hyman for choosing this blog post for his weekly roundup on the Ohio Employer Law Blog.

Pa. Contractor Dinged Over Fatal Electrocution

Construction companies, take note: There’s a price to be paid for exposing your workers to electrocution hazards

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Insight Pipe Contracting LLC for workplace safety and health violations following an employee electrocution at a worksite in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. The Harmony-based contractor faces $331,101 in proposed penalties.

OSHA initiated a safety investigation after an employee suffered a fatal electrocution. Two employees who attempted to assist him were hospitalized after receiving electrical shock. The employees were making a trenchless sewer repair when the incident occurred. OSHA conducted a subsequent health investigation upon referral from the OSHA safety compliance officer who investigated the fatality. OSHA cited the company for failing to develop and implement procedures for confined space entry; train employees on confined space hazards; conduct atmospheric testing before permitting entry into a sewer line; use a retrieval line; and complete proper permits. The Agency placed the company in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program.

“Electrocution is one of the leading causes of death in the construction industry,” said OSHA Pittsburgh Area Office Director Christopher Robinson. “Complying with OSHA safety and health standards is not optional. Employers are required to take necessary precautions to prevent tragedies such as this.”

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 Review Commission. View the citations here and here.

OSHA: Pet Food Facility Went Wrong on Safety

Household pets may be cute and furry, but there was nothing cuddly about the working conditions at this New Jersey pet food manufacturer.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Hamiltime Herb Co. LLC after inspectors found employees exposed to safety and health hazards in a follow-up investigation at its Howell, New Jersey, facility in May 2018. OSHA proposed penalties totaling $152,829.

OSHA cited the pet food manufacturer for failing to develop a lockout/tagout program to prevent unexpected machine startup, and a respiratory protection program for employees required to wear tight-fitting respirators; exposing employees to unguarded machinery; and failing to adequately train and certify employees to operate a forklift. The recent inspection was a follow-up to two investigations in June and August 2017 when an employee had four fingers amputated when a batch mixer activated while being cleaned.

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 http://www.osha.gov.

My appreciation to Jon Hyman for referencing this blog post in his October 12 weekly roundup for the Ohio Employer Law Blog.