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, July 30, 2012

Summary Of Major OSHA Citations - Week Ending July 28th

A summary of major OSHA citations announced during the week ending July 28th.

The following is based on press releases from OSHA.

OSHA cites Thomson Plastics in Georgia for repeat and serious violations ($163,000)
Bridgford Food Processing cited after two workers injured ($184,000)

DOL says CJ's Seafood owes fines, penalties and back wages ($348,000)
OSHA cites Schuld/Bushnell for repeat safety violations after follow-up inspection ($116,270)

OSHA has cited Thomson Plastics Inc. for 11 safety and health violations after a February 2012 follow-up inspection of the facility in Thomson revealed some of the same violations as OSHA's original inspection found in February 2010. Proposed penalties total $162,800.

Three repeat safety and one repeat health violation similar to violations cited in 2010 involve:
  • Failing to perform a periodic inspection of the lockout/tagout procedures for machines' energy sources to prevent them from starting up unexpectedly
  • Failing to train employees in lockout/tagout procedures
  • Failing to develop a training program for workers exposed to noise at or above 85 decibels
  • Failing to provide guardrails on all sides of platforms to prevent fall hazards
The above citations carry proposed penalties of $137,500.

Additionally, one serious health and four serious safety violations involved:
  • Failing to protect workers on scissor lifts from fall hazards
  • Failure to provide fixed stairs or a ladder to access the hopper platform
  • Failure to properly store acetylene cylinders
  • Failure to provide annual training on fire extinguishers and hearing conservation
  • Failure to establish baseline audiograms for workers exposed to noise
The citations carry $25,300 in proposed penalties.

Finally, one safety and one health violation involve deficiencies with electrical cords and the facility's permit-required confined space program.

The citations can be viewed at

Thomson Plastics produces industrial, recreational and consumer appliances, and lawn and garden products. The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request a conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

OSHA has cited Anaheim, Calif.-based Bridgford Food Processing Corp. with four safety – including willful and repeat violations – at the company's Chicago meat processing facility after a worker suffered amputations of two fingers on February 7th while operating a vacuum packaging machine. A second worker had been injured operating the same machine on January 25th, and suffered deep lacerations and tendon damage on four fingers. Proposed fines total $184,000 following an inspection that was opened following the incidents.

OSHA found that workers used magnets and other tools to override guarding interlock systems on machines. One willful violation stems from not affixing lockout/tagout devices to all energy sources and preventing workers from coming into contact with machines' points of operation. OSHA deemed this violation willful because, despite the company's history of injuries caused by lockout failures, Bridgford had taken few precautionary measures to prevent similar incidents at the facility.

Two repeat violations involve failing to develop and train employees in machine-specific lockout/tagout procedures. 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 by OSHA following a July 2010 inspection at the same facility.

Finally, one serious violation involves improperly guarding machines. 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/Bridgford-Food-Processing-Corp-192053-0724-12.pdf.

Bridgford Food Processing Corp., a manufacturer of various processed and frozen foods, employs about 140 workers at its Chicago meat processing location and 535 companywide, with two other facilities in Dallas, Texas, and one in Statesville, N.C. This inspection is OSHA's ninth of the Chicago facility since 2007.

Bridgford Food Processing was placed in OSHA's Severe Violator Enforcement Program after being cited for willful and repeat safety violations based on the July 2010 inspection at the Chicago plant. Those violations involved exposing workers to energized equipment by failing to implement and provide training on lockout/tagout procedures. OSHA has conducted follow-up inspections at both the Chicago and Dallas facilities under the program, which mandates follow-up inspections of recalcitrant employers that have endangered workers by committing willful, repeat or failure-to-abate violations. For more information about the program, visit http://s.dol.gov/J3.

Since the company was placed in the program, OSHA has cited additional violations at several facilities. Citations carrying $118,700 in penalties were issued in March 2012 for 22 safety and health violations at the Chicago facility, citations carrying $174,500 in penalties were issued in February 2012 for eight safety violations at the facility on Chancellor Row in Dallas, and citations carrying $422,600 in penalties were issued in October 2011 for 27 safety and health violations at the facility on South Good Latimer Expressway in Dallas. The company is contesting all of these citations.

Bridgford Food Processing has 15 business days from receipt of its current 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 has cited C.J.'s Seafood with 11 serious and one other-than-serious safety violation for exposing workers to blocked exit, fire, electrical and chemical hazards. Additionally, the Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division found that the company failed to pay minimum wage and overtime compensation to 73 workers as required by the Fair Labor Standards Act, and found that CJ's faiuled to comply with provisions of the H-2B temporary foreign worker visa program established under the Immigration and Nationality Act.

OSHA's Baton Rouge Area Office conducted an investigation of the company's facility in Breaux Bridge, where employees peel and boil seafood. Some of the serious violations cited pertain to:

  • The building was not equipped with fire extinguishers, exit signs or emergency eyewash stations
  • Electrical breakers were not labeled
  • Electrical outlets were not covered
  • An exit was blocked
  • Temporary wiring was being used instead of permanent wiring
  • There was no written hazard communications program
  • Material safety data sheets were not available to employees to inform them of hazards in the workplace
These citations carry proposed penalties of $32,200.

The other-than-serious violation involves failing to maintain the OSHA 300 log, in which employee injuries and illnesses must be recorded. This citation carries a monetary penalty of $2,100. 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.

C.J.'s Seafood has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's Baton Rouge area director or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

The Wage and Hour Division's New Orleans District Office conducted an investigation that found C.J.'s Seafood violated the FLSA's minimum wage, overtime compensation and record-keeping requirements by paying "straight time" instead of the required overtime rate for hours beyond 40 in a workweek; making illegal deductions from employees' wages for items required by their jobs, such as gloves, hairnets and aprons; and failing to maintain records of the hours employees worked. The employer also violated H-2B provisions by misrepresenting its temporary need for foreign workers, including the dates of need and number of workers needed, and also by failing to pay the required wage rate.

A total of $76,608 is due to the 73 workers, and the company is liable for an additional $70,014 in liquidated damages. The division also has assessed $32,120 in civil money penalties under the FLSA for willful violations of the employer's obligation to pay overtime and $35,000 in civil money penalties for willful violations of the H-2B program.

C.J.'s Seafood has refused to pay the full amount of back wages that the division found due, and the liquidated damages and civil money penalties. The division will pursue all appropriate administrative and legal remedies to the full extent of its authority. These may include legal proceedings before the Labor Department's Administrative Review Board and in federal district court.

The FLSA requires that covered employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour for all hours worked, plus time and one-half their regular rates, including commissions, bonuses and incentive pay, for hours worked beyond 40 per week. Employers also must maintain accurate time and payroll records.

The H-2B guest worker program permits employers to temporarily hire nonimmigrants to perform nonagricultural labor or services in the United States. The employment must be of a temporary nature, such as a one-time occurrence or for a seasonal or peak load need. The program requires the employer to attest to the Department of Labor that it will offer a wage that equals or exceeds the highest of the prevailing wage, applicable federal minimum wage, state minimum wage or local minimum wage for the occupation in the area of intended employment during the entire period of the approved certification. Additionally, certain recruitment and displacement standards have been established in order to protect similarly employed workers in the United States.

Read a related story in The Independent

OSHA has cited Bushnell Illinois Tank Co., which operates as Schuld/Bushnell in Valley, with eight safety and health violations based on a follow-up inspection for hazards associated with workers who enter and work in permit-required confined spaces. Proposed penalties total $116,270.

Bushnell Illinois Tank Co. is located in Bushnell, Ill., and manufactures tanks for agriculture and commercial applications such as grain and feed storage.

OSHA initiated the follow-up inspection at Schuld/Bushnell in January 2012 to determine if hazardous conditions continued to exist after a January 2011 inspection resulted in citations of OSHA's permit-required confined space standard. The standard establishes procedures to protect workers who must enter, work in or exit spaces with configurations that hinder their activities. In addition, the configurations of such spaces may increase workers' exposure to hazards such as entrapment, engulfment and/or hazardous atmospheric conditions, which can lead to serious physical injury, illness or death.

A willful violation has been cited for the presence of these hazards without an employer permit-required confined space program. Workers entered tanks to weld the bottom to the cylinder, attach ladders and aeration fans, and apply sealant in the finishing area. A willful violation is one committed with intentional knowledge or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.

Four repeat violations involve:
  • failing to provide a permit-required confined space hazard evaluation prior to employee entry
  • failing to provide appropriate equipment for making permit-required confined space entries
  • failing to test and monitor permit-required confined space conditions prior to entry
  • failure to train workers on entering permit-required confined spaces
These violations previously were cited during the 2011 inspection. 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.

Two serious violations relate to a lack of worker training to establish proficiency in permit-required confined space procedures and a lack of determination regarding exposure of employees to the chemical hexavalent chromium.

One other-than-serious violation addresses hazards associated with failing to implement a respirator program relative to proper storage of respirators.

The citations in this case can be viewed at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/Cits_Insp316019215.pdf*.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director in Omaha, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Related Past Posts:
Major OSHA Citations - Week Ending July 14th
Last Week's Major OSHA Citations - OSHA Fines Earth Friendly Products
Major OSHA Citation - $463,350 Fine For Construction Hazards

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