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January 11, 2022
OSHA enforcement roundup: Spotlight on recent cases

Multiple safety and health hazards lead to citations
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited a nutrition production plant in Missouri with 24 serious safety and health violations for exposing workers to numerous safety hazards. The violations included inadequate machine guarding and hazardous energy control procedures; inadequate process safety management procedures and monitoring; exposure to combustible dust hazards; fall hazards of greater than 4 feet while walking on working surfaces; and electrical safety hazards. OSHA also cited the company for exposing workers to struck-by and fall hazards from modified forklifts, failing to maintain eyewash stations near chemical use areas, and not training workers on how to identify and prevent hazards found in the production facility.
Penalty: $300,759

Discount retailer fails to correct hazards
A national discount retailer was cited with three repeat violations for once again failing to protect its workers from on-the-job hazards at an Alabama location. The company failed to keep the main storeroom orderly to allow safe exit during an emergency; exposed workers to slip and trip hazards and being struck by falling boxes; and prevented access to electrical panels. “[The retailer] has a long history of disregarding safety measures to prevent serious injury or death in the event of a fire or other emergency,” said Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health Doug Parker. “This company’s troubled history of workplace safety violations must come to an end, and OSHA will make every effort to hold them accountable for their failures.”
Penalty: $321,827

Paint manufacturer cited for safety management violations
OSHA cited a paint manufacturer in Columbus, Ohio, with 2 willful and 33 serious safety violations of the Agency’s process safety management and hazardous waste operations and emergency response procedures. During an investigation of the April 2021 explosion that killed a press operator and hospitalized 8 other employees, OSHA found that the explosion could have been prevented had the employer not altered a kettle reactor vessel improperly and then returned the vessel to service after it failed following the alterations. OSHA also noted violations involving lack of personal protective equipment and employee training. The company was placed in OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program.
Penalty: $709,960

Crane violations lead to six-figure fines
A contractor in Lufkin, Texas, was cited with three willful and two serious violations for failure to assemble a crane boom properly, which caused the crane to collapse onto a passing vehicle, killing the two occupants. An OSHA investigation determined that the company was installing supports for an elevated section of the highway at the time of the April 2021 incident. OSHA found the operator failed to determine the correct weight of the load while using the crane to retrieve a helmet box and hammer driven 3 feet into the ground. The incorrectly assembled boom buckled and landed on the vehicle.
Penalty: $212,599

Fall hazards lead to citations
OSHA cited a construction contractor in Roselle, Illinois, for one willful, five repeat, and two serious safety violations after inspectors observed employees without fall protection while performing framing and carpentry work at a residential townhome in April 2021. OSHA identified similar hazards present at the contractor’s worksites in February 2021, May 2020, February 2018, December 2017, and October 2017 and issued citations. The company has failed to resolve the issued citations, leading OSHA to refer over $100,000 in unpaid penalties to debt collection. “Working from heights is among the most dangerous jobs in construction. [The company’s] continued failure to follow federal safety laws requiring the use of fall protection risks the lives and livelihoods of its workers,” said OSHA's Chicago North Area Director Angeline Loftus in Des Plaines, Illinois.
Penalty: $229,792

Iron foundry enters settlement agreement
A Syracuse, New York, iron foundry cited for dozens of health and safety violations has agreed to correct 60 cited hazards and implement enhanced corrective measures. In November 2019, OSHA inspectors identified multiple safety and health hazards, including exposing employees to crystalline silica, silica dust, and combustible dust; inadequate respiratory protection; fall, struck-by, and caught-between hazards; unsafe work floors and walking surfaces; deficient confined-space safeguards; inaccessible or unavailable fire extinguishers; an impeded exit route; the lack of an effective pest-removal program; and failure to prevent the buildup of bird feces on equipment.
Penalty: $276,189

Toxic substance hazards lead to fines
An aircraft parts manufacturer in Bloomfield, Connecticut, was cited with two willful, four serious, and two other-than-serious violations for failing to protect employees from toxic substance exposures. Specifically, OSHA found the company failed to determine employees' exposure to hexavalent chromium; assess employees' overexposure to cadmium during plating operations; implement controls and work practices to reduce employees' overexposure to chromium; provide employees with appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE); ensure exposed employees used effective respiratory protection; periodically examine nostrils of exposed employees; provide employees with appropriate information and training on chromium hazards; and label tanks containing hazardous substances with information on the hazards associated with their contents.
Penalty: $308,168

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