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DuraLabel's Weekly Safety News

Blog Author Angelique Sanders

Weekly safety news. Stay in touch with regulations from OSHA, NFPA, and other safety codes. Find out about other companies' best and worst practices. We scour the internet to provide you with helpful training resources and the latest safety information.


Monday, January 16, 2012

Summary Of Last Week's Major OSHA Citations


 OSHA major citations announced during the week of January 9th.






Sunland Construction Cited For Trenching Violations ($140,000)

American Felt & Filter Co. Cited For 32 Serious Violations ($146,000)
Gemini Linen Rental Cited For 37 Serious Violations  ($125,000)
Hostess Brands Cited For Safety Hazards ($105,000)

Coleman Natural Foods Cited For Repeat & Serious Violations ($142,000)

A Barber Green Ditcher - Trench Digging Machine
Sunland Construction Inc. was cited for two willful violations for exposing workers to the possibility of a trench collapse while replacing high pressure gas lines along Fischer Road in Newnan. OSHA is proposing $140,000 in penalties.

"Cave-ins can happen quickly, without warning and with deadly consequences. OSHA will not allow employers to be indifferent to protecting their employees against these hazards," said Andre Richards, director of OSHA's Atlanta-West Area Office.

OSHA began its inspection Aug. 12 when an agency investigator noticed that the employer had failed to provide a safe means of egress from a 5-foot-10-inch trench and protect workers from a cave-in hazard. As a result of these conditions, the company was cited for the two willful violations. A willful violation is one committed with intentional knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.

Sunland Construction, which provides pipeline construction and related services, has been cited by OSHA three other times since 2010 at locations in Alabama, North Carolina and Texas. The violations cited in Georgia are similar to ones cited after OSHA inspected the company's construction site in Deer Park, Texas.

There was no response on the Sunland web site, but a press release from July 2011 described their safety efforts. It stated:

Continuing on the Road to Safety Excellence "Sunland & Affiliates has achieved over 1.7 million safe work hours since the last Lost Time Injury and our TRIR is at an all-time low of 1.00."

However, we cannot rest on our laurels and think that we are completely safe from danger. All supervisors must take an active role in focusing their efforts on making certain that their workers are coached, mentored, and provided with a safe work environment.

INITIATIVES

During 2010, we focused on issuing the revised Employee & Safety Handbook and Excavation Safety, including what to do if an OSHA Inspector shows up on the job site. We placed an emphasis on Last Minute Risk Assessments, Stop Work Authority, Observation Card Program, and the importance of reporting any and all incidents (regardless of how minor) immediately to your supervisor. Also the Management Safety Audits (MSA) received renewed focus. In 2011, we are rolling out the new Seasonal Foremen Training and Advanced Safety Audit Process.


American Felt & Filter Co. was cited for 35 alleged violations of workplace safety and health standards at its New Windsor plant. The company, which manufactures woolen felt for a variety of products, faces a total of $146,300 in proposed fines following an inspection by OSHA's Albany Area Office.

"Our inspections identified numerous safety and health hazards, including several similar to those cited during earlier OSHA inspections of this facility," said Arthur Dube, the agency's acting area director in Albany." Left uncorrected, these hazards expose employees to possible electrocution, crushing and struck-by injuries, being caught in moving machine parts, hearing loss, falls, eye and hand injuries, asbestos and lead."

In addition to identifying machine guarding and electrical hazards, OSHA found that the plant failed to inspect cranes and lifting devices; remove an unsafe powered industrial truck from service; properly stack materials; monitor noise levels, and test and train employees exposed to excessive noise levels; provide first-aid supplies, eye and hand protection, and an emergency eyewash; ensure appropriate respiratory protection and other safeguards for employees exposed to lead; perform asbestos exposure monitoring; identify and label asbestos-containing materials; and provide training for employees on asbestos hazards. These conditions resulted in citations for 32 serious violations carrying $118,580 in penalties. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

Three repeat violations carrying $27,720 in fines involve unguarded lathes and failure to implement an effective respiratory protection program. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. OSHA cited the plant for similar hazards in 2007.

No comments were available on American Felt & Filter Company's web site.


Gemtex Inc., doing business as Gemini Linen Rental, was cited for 37 serious and 11 other-than-serious safety and health violations at its Palmyra facility. OSHA initiated an inspection in response to a referral from New Jersey's Public Employees Occupational Safety and Health Program. Proposed fines total $126,875.

"These safety and health hazards pose serious risks to Gemini employees and must be addressed immediately," said Paula Dixon Roderick, OSHA's area director in Marlton. "Employers are legally responsible for ensuring safe and healthful workplaces."

The serious violations, which carry $124,775 in penalties, involve failing to provide protection from electrical hazards; develop and implement written respiratory protection, hazard communication and confined space entry programs; provide machine guarding; provide guardrails for stairways and working platforms; conduct a personal protective equipment hazard assessment; ensure the safe use of ladders and forklifts; provide lockout/tagout, respirator, hazard communication and fire extinguisher training; provide an eyewash station; provide mounted fire extinguishers; and ensure aisles and passageways were clear. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

The other-than-serious violations, with $2,100 in penalties, involve various electrical hazards as well as incomplete record keeping for the OSHA 300 injury and illness logs. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.

No comments were available on Gemini Linen Rental's web site.


Hostess Brands Wonder Bread Truck
Dwight Burdette Photo
Hostess Brands was cited for eight serious and two repeat alleged violations of workplace safety standards at its Biddeford production plant. The company, which manufactures Hostess products, faces a total of $104,700 in proposed fines following a safety inspection by OSHA's Augusta Area Office.

"Our inspection identified mechanical, electrical, fall and exit hazards, including some similar to those cited at other Interstate Brands facilities," said William Coffin, OSHA's area director for Maine. "Left uncorrected, these violations expose workers to the hazards of electrocution, lacerations, amputation, falls, being caught in operating or unexpectedly activated machinery and being unable to exit the workplace swiftly in the event of a fire or other emergency."

OSHA's inspection found an absence of guardrails to prevent workers from falling into and through hoppers; a locked emergency exit door and an exit route blocked by product racks; unguarded moving machine parts on a conveyor belt, band saw blade, drill press and other equipment; undocumented procedures to prevent the unintended activation of machinery during maintenance; and individuals working on live electrical equipment who were not familiar with the protective equipment needed for such work. These serious violations resulted in citations carrying $42,200 in fines. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

The recurring violations involve failing to guard chains and sprockets on a cake alignment conveyor and a packaging machine feeder, and provide personal protective equipment to safeguard employees against electrical shocks, arc flashes and arc blasts while working with live electrical parts. The citations carry $62,500 in fines. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. OSHA cited International Brands in 2010 for similar hazards at plants in Columbus, Ga., and Schiller Park, Ill.

No comments were available on the Hostess Brands web site. Last Wednesday, January 11th, Hostess Brands filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy.


Poultry processor KD Acquisition I LLC, doing business as Coleman Natural Foods, was cited for eight safety violations at its KD5 plant in Braselton after receiving a complaint in July about safety hazards. Proposed penalties total $142,150.

OSHA has cited the company for three repeat violations with penalties of $121,000 for failing to install machine guards on equipment where employees could come into contact with moving parts, tightly seal electrical enclosures to prevent severe corrosion and provide adequate strain relief on electrical components. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. Similar violations were cited in 2006 and 2007.

KD Acquisition also has been cited for four serious safety violations with penalties of $21,150 for failing to provide an ammonia detector that would warn of gas dispersal into the air, provide training to workers acting in the capacity of hazardous materials technicians when accessing equipment during emergency releases of ammonia, repair or contain hydraulic fluid leaks that created slippery floor surfaces and provide machine guards when operating the shaft ends of the conveyor systems. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

One other-than-serious violation with no monetary penalty has been cited for failing to provide an annual maintenance inspection of a fire extinguisher. An other-than-serious violation is described as a situation that relates to job safety and health that would not likely cause death or serious physical harm.

"OSHA will not tolerate conditions that endanger employee safety. The company has been cited for similar hazards in the past, and there is no excuse for OSHA finding them again during our latest inspection," said William Fulcher, director of the agency's Atlanta-East area office. "Management must correct these violations before a serious injury occurs to one of KD Acquisition's workers."

No comments were available on the Coleman Natural Foods web site.

Past Posts:
Foundry Cited $550,000
Lack of LOTO
Noise And Energized Equipment Hazards

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posted by Steve Hudgik
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2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's a lot 'o fines.

7:59 AM  
Anonymous OHS Courses said...

It's great to see a compilation of all the different fines and sanctions imposed by OHS bodies on companies and corporations. Without a doubt it is restoring employee faith in the workplace health and safety system!

9:10 PM  

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