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April 08, 2024
Modular home manufacturer facing $272K OSHA fine

The Austin, Texas-based subsidiary of one of the nation’s largest producers of manufactured and modular homes faces $272,479 in Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) fines for more than two dozen serious violations, the agency announced April 3.

The agency cited Palm Harbor Homes, a subsidiary of Cavco Industries, Inc., with 25 serious and 2 other-than-serious safety and health violations. OSHA has cited Cavco with 38 workplace safety and health violations at manufacturing facilities in four states, according to the agency.

OSHA’s Austin investigations began with a planned inspection under a National Emphasis Program (NEP) targeting facilities with high injury rates.

During its inspection of Palm Harbor Homes, the agency identified the following hazardous conditions:

  • A lack of required fall protection, exposing workers at the facility to fall hazards;
  • Improper use of ladders and failure to maintain safe walking surfaces; 
  • Allowing overhead hazards and suspended loads;
  • Improperly inspected fire extinguishers;
  • A lack of welding screens; and
  • No safe access to electrical shutoffs and other electrical safety violations.

Inspectors cited Cavco Industries for more than a dozen health hazards, including failing to maintain hazard communication and respiratory protection programs to protect workers from isocyanates and silica; not providing employees with personal protective equipment (PPE) and an eyewash and shower station; and failing to assess silica exposure.

OSHA’s hazard communication and respiratory protection standards are among its most frequently cited regulations. In an announcement last fall of the agency’s top 10 most cited standards, OSHA revealed that its hazard communication standard (29 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) §1910.1200) is its second most cited standard, with 3,213 violations cited in fiscal year (FY) 2023. In the same year, the agency cited 2,481 violations of its respiratory protection standard (§1910.134), making it the agency’s seventh most cited.

“The findings of our investigations and Cavco Industries’ history of violations suggest that the company is failing in its responsibility to keep work areas safe and healthful,” Monica Camacho, OSHA’s Austin, Texas, area office director, said in a statement. “OSHA has specific standards for the manufacturing industry and provides many resources to inform employers and employees. There is no excuse for these kinds of failures that expose workers to serious and potentially fatal injuries.”

Cavco Industries Inc. is a Phoenix-based home services company founded in 1965, according to OSHA. The company designs and factory-builds structures that include commercial buildings, manufactured homes, modular homes, park model RVs, and vacation cabins under more than a dozen brand names.

The company operates manufacturing facilities in Arizona, California, North Carolina, and Texas, the agency stated. Cavco serves customers in those states, as well as in Colorado, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Utah.

Cavco Industries has distribution centers in 43 U.S. states and in Canada through its retailers and 31 production lines. The company employs about 7,250 people, including more than 200 workers in Austin.

The company also operates Standard Casualty, which offers insurance products for owners of manufactured homes, and CountryPlace Mortgage to provide financing options.

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