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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, March 05, 2012

Summary Of Major OSHA Citations - Week Of February 26th



Summary of major OSHA citations announced during the week of February 26th.

The following are press releases from OSHA.

Note: A number of small companies were cited. I was not able to find images nor web sites for several of them.

Kuehne Chemical Cited For Hazards At Delaware City, Del., Facility ($139,000)
Florida Aluminum Fabricator Cited For Combustible Dust And Other Hazards ($140,000)
Terminated Truck Driver Awarded More Than $190,000 by OSHA
Yaskawa America in Oak Creek, Wis. Cited After Worker Suffers Burns ($91,000)
Berridge Manufacturing In San Antonio, TX Cited For 17 Safety Violations ($132,000)



OSHA has cited South Kearny, N.J.-headquartered Kuehne Chemical Co. Inc. for eight repeat and 13 serious safety and health violations at its Delaware City facility. Proposed penalties total $139,000 following an inspection that was initiated as part of OSHA's Site-Specific Targeting Program for industries with high injury and illness rates.

"By disregarding OSHA's standards, this company is leaving its employees vulnerable to hazards that could cause serious injury or even death," said Domenick Salvatore, director of OSHA's Wilmington Area Office. "It is imperative that Kuehne Chemical Co. address the cited violations immediately."

The repeat violations, with $63,760 in penalties, include electrical and welding hazards, as well as the company's failure to properly guard platforms, provide machine guarding, ensure exit routes were properly marked, and ensure that the process hazard analysis addressed possible safety and health effects from failure of controls. OSHA cited the company for the same violations in 2008 and 2011. 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.

The serious violations, with $75,240 in penalties, involve the company's failure to provide proper housekeeping, guard machines, provide process safety information related to consequences of deviation, ensure the use of proper electrical and wiring methods, and provide personal protective equipment for workers exposed to electrical hazards. 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 citations can be viewed at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/KuehneChemicalCompany_311812739_02-22-2012.pdf* and http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/KuehneChemicalCompany_311812705_02-22-2012.pdf*.

Kuehne Chemical Co. Inc. is a bleach manufacturer and chlorine and caustic soda reseller that employs 45 workers at its Delaware City facility. The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, ask for an informal conference with OSHA's area director or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.


Fritz Aluminum Services Inc. has been cited by OSHA for 37 violations for exposing workers to a variety of safety and health hazards, including combustible dust accumulations, at the company's Eustis facility. OSHA opened an inspection in September after receiving a complaint. Proposed penalties total $139,800.

Three willful violations involve failing to provide workers with an abrasive blasting suit or apron during sandblasting operations, replace missing and clogged filters in the powder coating booth, and implement a housekeeping program and provide proper ventilation to keep combustible dust accumulations at a minimal level. 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.

Twenty-eight serious violations involve failing to ensure workers were wearing eye and face protection when exposed to chemicals and using compressed air for cleaning; develop a written respiratory protection program for employees required to wear respirators; provide medical evaluations to determine the ability of employees to wear respirators; install a carbon monoxide alarm; train workers on the hazards associated with silica dust, powder coating dust and acids; develop a hazard communication program; provide sprinklers or fire protection in the powder coating booth area; and protect workers from amputation hazards by guarding machines. Fritz Aluminum also has been cited for the above-ground exposure of PVC piping used to transport compressed air at 130 pounds per square inch and for allowing combustible dust to accumulate on electrical equipment. 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.

Six other-than-serious violations include failing to maintain sanitary conditions in the powder booth, welding area and break room bathrooms; have forklift operators complete a refresher training course in the last three years; certify the training of forklift drivers; remove defective or unsafe powered industrial trucks from service; appropriately store oxygen and acetylene compressed gas cylinders; and properly label circuit breaker panels. 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.

"The level of disregard for workers' safety demonstrated by this employer is irresponsible. Although the employer knows the fire and explosion hazards associated with the accumulation of combustible dust, a choice was made to do nothing about it," said Les Grove, OSHA's area director in Tampa. "It should not take a fire or explosion to implement necessary safety measures to protect employees."

Due to the repeat violations and the nature of the hazards, OSHA has placed Fritz Aluminum Services in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program, which mandates targeted follow-up inspections to ensure compliance with the law. The program focuses on recalcitrant employers that endanger workers by committing willful, repeat or failure-to-abate violations. For more information on the program, visit http://s.dol.gov/J3.

The citations can be viewed at
http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/FritzAluminumServicesInc_315977348_0227_12.pdf*
http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/FritzAluminumServicesInc_316028570_0227_12.pdf*.

Fritz Aluminum Services, which fabricates aluminum fencing and other miscellaneous equipment, has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.


OSHA has ordered Interline Logistics Group LLC to immediately reinstate a truck driver in Sauk Village, who was terminated after reporting safety concerns about the brakes on his truck and refusing to violate U.S. Department of Transportation regulations for allowable driving and rest hours. OSHA also has ordered the company to pay the driver more than $190,000 in back wages, compensatory damages, attorney's fees and punitive damages, and to refrain from retaliating against the employee for exercising rights guaranteed under the Surface Transportation Assistance Act's whistleblower provision.

The driver filed a timely whistleblower complaint with OSHA, alleging termination after notifying the company about the deficient brakes. OSHA found that the company had directed the driver to a repair shop to service the brakes and upon completion of the service call, the driver was instructed to proceed to his dispatch location to pick up a return load. The driver declined to do so, stating he was over the work hours allowed according to DOT regulations. The following day, the driver was terminated for stated reasons including failing to follow dispatch instructions, according to the company. However, OSHA's investigation found reasonable cause to believe that the disciplinary charges and termination were not based on the driver breaking a company work rule but on reporting a safety issue and refusing to violate DOT regulations.

"This case sends a clear message that employers are simply not allowed to retaliate against workers for reporting work-related safety concerns or against drivers who refuse to violate DOT regulations that determine how many hours they are allowed to work and how much rest they receive," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. "The safety of all workers and everyone on the road is endangered when employees are afraid to report safety concerns because of threats from their employers."

Interline Logistics Group is headquartered in Kennesaw, Ga., and operates nationwide. Either party to the case can file an appeal with the Labor Department's Office of Administrative Law Judges, but such an appeal does not stay the preliminary reinstatement order.

OSHA enforces the whistleblower provision of the STAA as well as provisions of 20 other statutes protecting employees who report violations of various securities, airline, nuclear, pipeline, environmental, public transportation, workplace, consumer product, and health care and financial reform laws. Under these laws enacted by Congress, employers are prohibited from retaliating against employees who raise various protected concerns or provide protected information to the employer or to the government. Employees who believe that they have been retaliated against for engaging in protected conduct may file a complaint with the secretary of labor for an investigation by OSHA's Whistleblower Protection Program. Detailed information on employee whistleblower rights, including fact sheets with information on how to file a complaint with OSHA, is available online at http://www.whistleblowers.gov.

OSHA has cited Yaskawa America Inc. with six safety – including one willful – violations, after a worker suffered burns from an electrical shock on Sept. 15 at the company's Oak Creek manufacturing facility. Proposed penalties total $91,000. The Waukegan, Ill.-based company produces drives and motion control components for heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems.

"Allowing workers to come in contact with exposed and energized parts without appropriate personal protective equipment demonstrates a lack of concern for their safety," said George Yoksas, OSHA's area director in Milwaukee. "Employers are responsible for knowing the hazards that exist in their workplaces and taking proper safety precautions. OSHA is committed to protecting workers on the job, especially when employers fail to do so."

The worker suffered second- and third-degree burns on his hand after receiving an electrical shock from exposed parts that had the potential to be energized to 480 volts. The willful violation is allowing the worker to come in contact with exposed energized parts on testing equipment. A willful violation is one committed with intentional knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or plain indifference to employee safety and health.

Additionally, three serious safety violations include using unapproved electrical equipment, failing to provide personal protective equipment to employees working on energized parts and failing to implement electrical safe work practices, such as utilizing insulated tools while working on energized electrical equipment. 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.

Two other-than-serious violations include not having strain relief on testing equipment and not completing OSHA 300 injury and illness logs as required. 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.

Yaskawa America has 15 business days from receipt of its most recent citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

OSHA cited Berridge Manufacturing Co. with 17 violations for exposing workers to multiple safety hazards at the company's facility on Fratt Road in San Antonio. An inspection, initiated on Aug. 30, 2011, was conducted as part of the agency's Site-Specific Targeting Program for industries with high injury and illness rates. Proposed penalties total $131,670.

Eight serious violations include failing to ensure workers were provided with fall protection while working from the tops of tanks; keep floors and surfaces clear to eliminate tripping hazards; ensure that equipment was free from electrical hazards; provide the required machine guarding for vertical belts and pulleys; and inspect overhead cranes and hoists, wire ropes and hooks. 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.

Five repeat violations involve failing to protect workers from unguarded and unprotected horizontal belts, pulley assemblies and horizontal shafts on furnace motors; ensure that openings on electrical equipment were effectively closed; and provide proper relief strain for electrical cords. 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 2007.

"Repeat violations mean that workers are exposed to the same hazards over and over again," said Jeff Funke, the agency's area director in San Antonio. "Berridge Manufacturing has a responsibility to ensure that employees are protected from possible injuries and illnesses by correcting these hazards immediately."

Four other-than-serious violations were issued for failing to adequately describe occupational injuries and illnesses on OSHA 300 logs, properly certify the OSHA 300A summary form, review the energy control program on an annual basis and ensure that electrical motors had legible markings indicating their electrical classification and division. 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.

The citations can be viewed at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/BerridgeManufacturing_315627323_0229_12.pdf*.

The company, which manufactures metal roofing components and employs about 150 workers, has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's San Antonio Area Office or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.


Related Past Posts:
Summary Of OSHA Citations For Week Of February 19th
Summary Of OSHA Citations For Week Of February 12th
Summary Of OSHA Citations For Week Of February 5th

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