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, October 29, 2012

OSHA Citations

A summary of OSHA citations with proposed fines over $100,000 announced during the week ending October 27th.

The following is based on a press release from OSHA.

OSHA fines Northeastern Wisconsin Wood Products for 16 violations ($184,000)

Photo by GFDL
OSHA has cited Northeastern Wisconsin Wood Products for 16 alleged health and safety, including four willful and six repeat, violations after conducting a follow-up inspection at the company's Pound facility April 25. Many are for exposing workers to amputation hazards. Proposed penalties total $184,800.

Four willful safety violations involve a lack of machine guarding on conveyors, belts, pulleys, gears, band and trim saw blades, and woodworking machinery, as well as unguarded open-sided floors and platforms presenting a fall hazard greater than 4 feet. 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.

Three repeat health violations involve:
  • failing to implement a hearing conservation program for workers whose noise exposure exceeded 85 decibels
  • failing to develop and implement a hazard communication program to include training for workers exposed to wood dust, diesel fuel and hydraulic fluid
  • allowing unsanitary conditions to pose serious fire and explosion hazards by letting sawdust accumulate in piles by the outer wall and on horizontal surfaces such as pipes, wall supports and ledges.
Three repeat safety violations include:
  • failing to provide potable water for drinking, 
  • failure to periodically inspect energy control procedures
  • failure to use group lockout devices. 
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 July 2011.

Four serious safety violations included:
  • failing to reduce compressed air for cleaning to 30 pounds per square inch or below
  • failing to cover splices, joints and free ends of conductors with an insulating device
  • failing to place covers on junction boxes
  • failing to provide adequate lockout devices. 
Two other-than-serious safety violations have been cited for using flexible cords instead of fixed wiring and burned damage to metal conduit. 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 Pound facility manufactures parts used for wood pallets and containers.

The most recent follow-up inspection was due to violations cited as a result of a January 2011 inspection after which the company was cited for 18 violations and placed in OSHA's Severe Violator Enforcement Program. Citations from that inspection were issued in July 2011. The company contested the citations; however, the Occupational Health and Review Commission issued a default judgment, and the citations became final orders March 2, 2012.

In total, Northeastern Wisconsin Wood Products has been cited by OSHA for 55 violations as the result of six previous inspections. The company was first inspected by OSHA in 2006 and issued eight citations at that time. Other inspections have included a follow-up in 2007, which found that most of the originally cited hazards remained unabated. After the May 2010 issuance of a secretary of labor petition for summary enforcement, the company was given 30 days to abate the violations. The company requested assistance from the OSHA-funded Wisconsin State Consultation Service to abate the violations, but the service ended its work at the facility due to a lack of cooperation from the employer. Many of the originally cited violations once again were cited during the January 2011 inspection and, subsequently, in this follow-up inspection.

The current citations can be viewed at: http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/NortheasternWisconsinWoodProducts_400882_1019_12.pdf

Northeastern Wisconsin Wood Products has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Related Past Posts:
OSHA Citations - Week of October 20th
OSHA Citations Issued During The Week Ending October 13th
Major OSHA Citations - Week Ending October 6th
Summary Of Major OSHA Violations - Week Ending September 29th

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posted by Steve Hudgik
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