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October 10, 2022
OSHA cites New Jersey facility, seeking $574K penalty

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced October 6 it cited Pennsylvania-based metal coatings manufacturer Regal Industrial Corp. for 5 willful, 15 serious, and 1 other-than-serious violation at its Millvale, New Jersey, facility, seeking $573,681 in proposed penalties.

The willful citations relate to respirator, written hazard communication program, safety data sheet (SDS), fall protection, and chemical hazard violations.

According to OSHA, Regal recently implemented a comprehensive safety and health program to protect workers at its corporate headquarters in Donora, Pennsylvania. At the Millvale facility, OSHA inspectors determined the company failed to:

  • Provide training on respirator use and medical evaluations to determine if employees were physically capable of wearing respirators.
  • Develop and implement a written hazard communication program.
  • Maintain SDSs on-site, and train employees on chemical hazards.
  • Provide fall protection and machine guarding.
  • Train forklift operators, and certify them.
  • Ensure safe use of electricity in areas where flammable paints were sprayed, and keep emergency exits unobstructed.
  • Establish and follow a routine schedule for floor cleaning and removal of combustible residue.
  • Ensure proper use of power tools.

OSHA’s top five most frequently cited general industry standards are hazard communication, respiratory protection, lockout/tagout, powered industrial trucks, and machine guarding, the agency recently announced.

Ohio roofer facing $1 million fine

On October 6, the agency also announced that Millersburg, Ohio-based Charm Builders Ltd. was cited for 6 egregious-willful, 5 repeat, and 1 serious violation and faces proposed penalties of $1,090,231.

Charm Builders failed to ensure the use of fall protection, not training employees on fall hazards, allowing unsafe use of portable ladders, and not making sure workers used safety glasses at a Wheeling, West Virginia, site.

“It is unconscionable when construction contractors put workers at risk and undercut law-abiding companies by failing to invest in basic, life-saving protections,” Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health Doug Parker said in an agency statement. “We will use all of our available legal powers to hold accountable employers like Charm Builders who continually put people in serious jeopardy.”

OSHA’s construction industry fall protection standard has remained the agency’s most frequently cited standard for 12 years, the agency recently announced.

OSHA has placed the employer in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program (SVEP). Employers in the SVEP are subject to follow-up inspections.

Wisconsin roofer cited for fall protection violations

OSHA also announced on October 6 that an Appleton, Wisconsin, roofer was cited for two willful, one repeat, and two serious violations for fall hazards and for failing to provide eye protection and use ladders correctly. Rios Roofing also had $114,130 in unpaid OSHA fines for similar violations identified in 8 inspections from 2009 to 2019, according to the agency.

An OSHA inspector observed 4 roofing workers at heights greater than 8 feet without protection to prevent serious or fatal injuries at an Appleton building site. Rios Roofing now faces $301,512 in new penalties.

Missouri contractor cited in trenching fatality

On October 5, OSHA announced it cited Brown Construction Co. for four serious violations of federal trenching and excavation standards, with proposed penalties of $58,008, following a fatal trench collapse on April 8. A pipelayer was installing stormwater drainage in an 8-foot-deep trench along Old Highway 60 in Dudley, Missouri, when the trench collapsed.

OSHA inspectors found that Brown Construction failed to use a trench box or to shore or slope the trench walls to prevent collapse. The company did not provide a required means to exit the 80-foot-long trench, failed to train employees on excavation hazards and safety precautions, and did not have a competent person inspect the trench daily for potential hazards. 

In July, OSHA announced plans for 1,000 excavation inspections after 22 trenching and excavation fatalities in 2022—a 68 percent increase over the 15 fatalities in 2021. The agency has an ongoing National Emphasis Program (NEP) of outreach, inspection, and enforcement to address trenching and excavation hazards. The agency also recently sponsored training outreach efforts in Colorado and Texas.

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