Posts Tagged ‘workplace safety’

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.

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.

Glass Producer Hit With Massive OSHA Fine; Hazards at Ohio Plant Cited in $724,380 Penalty

You know that reinforced glass that comprises your car windshield? The workers who manufactured it did so at a frighteningly high safety cost.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Fuyao Glass America Inc. for exposing employees to multiple safety and health hazards at its Moraine, Ohio, production plant. The company faces $724,380 in penalties.

OSHA initiated an inspection of the automotive glass manufacturer under the Agency’s Site-Specific Targeting program, which directs enforcement resources to workplaces where the highest rate of injuries and illnesses have occurred. OSHA cited Fuyao Glass America for nine repeated and 13 serious violations, including exposing employees to electrical safety violations; and failing to evaluate the workplace to determine permit-required confined spaces; train employees on lockout/tag out and entering confined spaces; install machine guarding; provide hearing protection; provide personal protective equipment, and require the use of fall protection. OSHA has inspected the Fuyao plant 12 times in the past four years.

“This company’s repeated failure to implement and enforce safety and health programs at the workplace is unacceptable,” said Acting Regional Administrator Bill Donovan, in Chicago, Illinois. “Employers must continually evaluate their facilities for hazards, and train employees and managers to use proper safety controls and equipment to keep their worksites safe and healthful.”

OSHA offers compliance assistance resources on permit required confined space hazards, occupational noise exposuremachine guardingfall protectioncontrol of hazardous energy, and electrical safety work practices.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the safety and health 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.

Company Dinged $181K for Safety Violations

This employer treated metals better than it safeguarded workers’ health and safety.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Hudapack Metal Treating of Illinois Inc. – based in Glendale Heights, Illinois – for 21 serious health and safety violations. The company faces penalties of $181,662.

OSHA inspected the company in December 2018 after an employee was electrocuted while using a damaged portable lamp when cleaning the inside of a metal tank. A second employee suffered electrical shock injuries in an attempt to assist the injured co-worker. Inspectors determined that the lamp’s cord had exposed bare conductors, and the lamp was unsuitable for use in wet locations. They also found a damaged extension cord used to connect the lamp to power.

OSHA cited the employer for failing to use electrical safety work practices, provide appropriate personal protective equipment, train employees about electrical hazards, and repair damaged electrical outlets. OSHA also cited the company for exposing employees to falls, and failing to implement lockout/tagout procedures and a permit-required confined space program.

“This tragedy underscores the requirement that companies provide training on working safely with electricity, and conduct regular assessments of existing work conditions to eliminate potential safety hazards,” said OSHA Area Director Jacob Scott in Naperville, Illinois.

Learn more about OSHA’s compliance resources on recognizing and avoiding electrical hazards.

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.

Home Improvement Company, Owner Socked With $1.7M Fine for Ignoring Fall Protections

A fine, even a million dollar one, is too lenient for this company which willfully failed to train its workers on the hazards of falling, resulting in an employee’s death.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Shawn D. Purvis, owner of Purvis Home Improvement Co. Inc. for egregious willful, repeat, and serious workplace safety violations. Purvis – a Saco, Maine, roofing contractor – faces a total of $1,792,726 in penalties. The enforcement action follows the death of an employee in Portland, Maine, on December 13, 2018.

OSHA inspectors found that Purvis knowingly failed to ensure the use of fall protection by his employees at the Portland worksite, and at a separate worksite in Old Orchard Beach, Maine.

Due to Purvis’ knowledge of the hazard and required safeguards, along with an extensive history of violations, OSHA cited him for 13 egregious willful violations – one for each exposed employee per job site – for failing to ensure the use of fall protection. Each egregious citation carries the maximum allowable penalty of $132,598. OSHA also cited Purvis for failing to provide fall protection training to his employees, and for exposing them to electrocution and eye hazards. OSHA has cited the owner for seven violations of fall protection requirements since September 2006.

“Effective fall protection can prevent tragedies like this when an employer ensures the proper use of legally required lifesaving protection,” said OSHA Area Director David McGuan, in Augusta, Maine. “An ongoing refusal to follow the law exposes other employees to potentially fatal or disabling injuries. Employers cannot evade their responsibility to ensure a safe and healthful worksite.”

View the Portland and Old Orchard Beach citations.

On April 5, 2019, a Portland grand jury indicted Purvis for manslaughter and workplace manslaughter, charging that his repeated violations of OSHA’s fall protection standards caused his employee’s death.

OSHA offers compliance assistance resources on fall hazards on the OSHA Fall Protection webpage at https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/fallprotection/.

Purvis 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.

Employers can find compliance assistance resources related to OSHA at https://www.osha.gov/dcsp/compliance_assistance/cas.html.

OSHA Hits Ga. Tire Company With Hefty Fine

The work of tire manufacturing at this Georgia facility came at a price for workers’ safety.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued a combined 22 citations to Kumho Tire Georgia Inc., Sae Joong Mold Inc., and J-Brothers Inc. after a follow-up inspection found safety and health hazards at the tire manufacturing facility in Macon, Georgia. The three companies collectively face $523,895 in proposed penalties.

OSHA cited Kumho Tire Georgia Inc. for exposing employees to fall, struck-by, and burn hazards; failing to follow hazardous energy control procedures when employees performed service and maintenance on machinery; failing to train employees on energy control procedures; and failing to provide machine guarding on various pieces of equipment throughout the facility. Proposed penalties total $507,299. OSHA initiated the follow-up inspection of the tire manufacturer after the Agency did not receive abatement documents regarding a June 2017 inspection and citations. The Agency has now placed Kumho Tire Georgia Inc. in the Severe Violator Enforcement Program.

OSHA cited Sae Joong Mold Inc. for using damaged slings and electrical hazards. Proposed penalties total $9,093. The Agency cited J-Brothers Inc. for exposing employees to smoke inhalation and burn hazards by failing to mount portable fire extinguishers and failing to perform annual maintenance on fire extinguishers. Proposed penalties total $7,503.

“Potential workplace hazards must be assessed and eliminated to ensure a safe work environment,” said OSHA Atlanta-East Area Director William Fulcher. “This employer exposed workers to multiple safety and health deficiencies that put them at risk for serious or fatal injuries.”

The companies have 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.

Pa. Employer Fined $678K Over Arm Amputation

Too late for this worker who lost his hand on the job, but maybe this penalty will spare future workers from this same ill fate.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Champion Modular Inc. for exposing employees to safety and health hazards at its Strattanville, Pennsylvania, facility. The company faces $687,650 in penalties.

OSHA initiated an inspection after an employee suffered an amputation in November 2018. The Agency issued willful and serious citations for failing to use machine guarding, provide fall protection, and train workers on hazard communication and hearing conservation.

“Moving machine parts have the potential to cause severe workplace injuries if they are not safeguarded,” said OSHA Erie Area Office Director Brendan Claybaugh. “Employers’ use of machine guards and devices is not optional. Employers are legally responsible for ensuring that machine operators are protected.”

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 American 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 linking to this post in his May 31 weekly round up of employment and HR blogs for the Ohio Employer Law Blog.