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July 09, 2014
The pitfalls of noncompliance

Two companies fined following temporary worker injury
Bottling plant
New Jersey        OSHA Region 2
Willful, repeat, and serious violations: After a temporary worker was injured falling from a ladder at a bottling plant, OSHA inspected the facility and cited the beverage manufacturing company with one willful, one repeat, and 17 serious safety and health violations. The willful violation, carrying a $54,450 penalty, was for not providing employees with annual audiograms. The repeat violation, carrying a $13,860 penalty, was for the company’s failure to provide proper machine guarding. Serious violations included failing to develop and implement an emergency response plan for employees required to respond to spills of hazardous substances; failing to ensure exit routes were adequate; failing to utilize lockout/tagout procedures; failing to implement a hazard communication program; failing to remove powered industrial trucks in need of repair from service; and failing to label spray bottles containing hazardous chemicals. In addition, the staffing agency that supplied labor to the beverage manufacturer was cited for two serious violations, involving failure to conduct a hazard assessment of the workplace and failure to ensure that employees were informed about noise hazards and protective methods.
Penalty: $171,270 fine (host employer); $11,000 fine (staffing agency)

Five companies cited following warehouse fatality
Fulfillment center
New Jersey        OSHA Region 2
Serious violations: In December 2013, a temporary worker died from injuries sustained after he was caught between a conveyor system and crushed while performing sorting operations. OSHA cited five companies for serious violations following the incident, including the contractor that operated the facility and four temporary staffing agencies. The contractor was cited with a serious violation for not certifying that a hazard assessment had been conducted at the facility. The four staffing agencies were each cited with one serious violation for failure to perform a hazard assessment before assigning workers to the facility. Each company involved faces $6,000 in fines.
Penalty: $30,000 fine (total)

Worker killed after a week on the job
Construction contractor
Florida                  OSHA Region 4
Serious violations: In January, an 18-year-old worker who had been on the job for just a week was crushed to death when a bridge panel fell on him. OSHA cited the construction contractor that employed him with 14 serious violations, including failure to provide fall protection, failure to provide instruction to recognize and avoid unsafe conditions associated with improperly secured bridge panels, and failure to provide employee training to recognize struck-by hazards. Brian Sturtecky, OSHA’s area director in Jacksonville, Florida, commented, “This young man didn’t even earn his first paycheck . . . when he paid the ultimate price of working on a mismanaged project.”
Penalty: $72,000 fine

Temporary workers exposed to serious hazards
Cereal manufacturer
Georgia                                                OSHA Region 4
Serious violations: A cereal manufacturing facility has been cited with nine serious safety and health violations for exposing both temporary and permanent workers to numerous hazards. According to OSHA, the employer failed to provide workers with training to protect themselves from moving machine parts during servicing and maintenance activities and exposed workers to fall hazards. In addition, the company failed to institute a monitoring and training program for occupational noise exposure to prevent permanent hearing loss from unsafe noise levels.
Penalty: $40,600 fine

Failure to abate leads to 6-figure fines
Texas                    OSHA Region 6
Failure to abate and repeat violations: A follow-up inspection of a sawmill led to seven failure-to-abate violations and six repeat violations after the company failed to fix previously cited hazards. The failure-to-abate violations, carrying a penalty of $98,640, were for continuing to expose employees to electrical hazards and unguarded machinery. Repeat violations included failing to provide fall protection and guard belts, pulleys, and the point of operation of machines, and failing to follow listing and labeling instructions on electrical equipment, electrical disconnects for motors, and branch circuits.
Penalty: $125,282 fine

Workers exposed to dangerous carbon dioxide levels
Food processing plant
Louisiana             OSHA Region 6
Willful, repeat, and serious violations: A food processing plant has been cited with 16 safety and health violations, including one willful and one repeat violation. The willful violation carries a penalty of $38,500 and was issued for exposing workers to carbon dioxide levels deemed life-threatening. The employer failed to implement controls to reduce carbon dioxide levels in the plant and provide workers with adequate respiratory protection. The repeat violation was for failing to ensure an electrical panel box was enclosed to prevent worker exposure to live electrical wires. The remaining violations, all classified as serious, include failing to guard moving machine parts; conduct annual inspections of lockout/tagout procedures; provide PPE; properly identify respiratory hazards; and include safety data sheets for carbon dioxide, sanitizer, and boiler water treatment.
Penalty: $121,660 fine

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