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DuraLabel's Weekly Safety News

Blog Author Angelique Sanders

Weekly safety news. Stay in touch with what is happening at OSHA as well as other workplace safety news. Includes a report on the significant OSHA citations announced the previous week. Plus we scan national and local (and world) publications for workplace safety news. This is your source for the latest safety news.


Monday, December 17, 2012

Four OSHA Citations Over $100,000 Announced Last Week

A summary of OSHA significant citations with proposed fines over $100,000 announced during the week ending December 15th.

The following are based on a press releases from OSHA and other sources.


Pilgrim's Pride Corp. cited for exposing workers to hazardous chemicals ($99,000)
Bontrager Excavating, Uniontown, OH, cited for failing to protect workers in trench ($115,500)
OSHA fines Timken Co. (Canton, Ohio, steel mill) after receiving a complaint ($170,500)
OSHA cites Fort Worth, Texas, companies for process safety management violations ($134,00)



Photo by John Bonzo
OSHA has cited Pilgrim's Pride Corp. in Lufkin with three repeat and four serious violations following a June inspection as part of the agency's Process Safety Management Covered Chemical Facilities national emphasis program. Proposed penalties total $99,000.

The repeat citations issued for the process safety management standard violations include failing to:
  • inspect and test process equipment consistent with applicable manufacturers' recommendations and good engineering practices
  • ensure that process equipment complies with recognized and generally accepted good engineering practices
  • properly label containers holding hazard chemicals
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 at the company's work site in Live Oak, Fla., in April 2008 and at the work site in Russellville, Ala., in September 2010.

Serious violations include failing to:
  • correct deficiencies in process equipment
  • ensure that process safety information pertaining to equipment includes design codes and standards
  • establish and implement written procedures to manage changes of the process
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 Greeley, Colo.-based Pilgrim's Pride, a chicken processing and wholesale distribution company, operates in 12 states, including Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia. About 33,000 workers are employed company-wide with about 1,400 at the Lufkin facility.

Detailed information on process safety management is available at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/processsafetymanagement/index.html.


OSHA has cited Bontrager Excavating Ltd. in Uniontown with three willful safety violations for failing to protect workers from cave-ins during trenching operations. OSHA initiated the inspection in June after receiving a complaint alleging unsafe working conditions. Proposed penalties total $115,500.

OSHA placed Bontrager Excavating in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program in 2011, after one worker was killed and another injured in a trench collapse in December 2010 in Stark County. The program focuses on recalcitrant employers that endanger workers by committing willful, repeat or failure-to-abate violations. Under the program, OSHA may inspect any of the employer's facilities or job sites.

The three willful violations cited from this most recent inspection involve:
  • failing to provide cave-in protection to workers installing storm connection lines in a trench approximately 6-feet deep.
  • failing to ensure that spoil piles of soil were placed at least 2 feet back from the trench edge.
  • failing to provide a safe means of egress to workers inside a trench box. OSHA regulations require that a stairway, ladder, ramp or other means of egress be provided in a trench. 
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.

OSHA standards mandate that all excavations 5 feet or deeper be protected against collapse. Detailed information on trenching and excavation hazards is available at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/trenchingexcavation/index.html.

Prior to this inspection, Bontrager Excavating had been inspected seven times since 1992, resulting in 17 violations, 15 of which directly related to various trenching hazards.

The current citations may be viewed at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/BontragerExcavatingLtd_471359_1206_12.pdf. The company 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.



OSHA has cited Timken Co. for 12 alleged safety violations, including five repeat, after conducting a complaint inspection in June at the steel mill in Canton which manufactures roller bearings. Proposed penalties total $170,500.

The CantonRep reports that, "Company officials said the Gambrinus plant has a favorable safety record. So far this year, the plant’s lost time incident rate has been less than one incident per 200,000 hours worked, the company said, while its OSHA reportable injury rate has been less than five per 200,000 hours worked."

Read the CantonRep article here.

Five repeat safety violations involve:
  • failing to guard machine ingoing nip points, points of operation and rotating parts
  • lacked guardrails on elevated platforms
  • failed to ensure electrical boxes with unused openings were closed
Similar violations were cited at other Timken Co. facilities in Canton, including the Harrison steel plant in 2007 and 2011, and the Gambrinus roller bearing plant in 2007 and 2009.

Seven serious safety violations involved:
  • failing to reduce compressed air for cleaning to 30 pounds per square inch or below
  • not maintaining floors in dry condition
  • failing to conduct annual training for workers designated to use portable fire extinguishers
  • not providing an emergency eye washing station
  • not ensuring each authorized worker affixed a personal lockout device to a group lock box to prevent the unintentional release of hazardous energy
  • failure to properly adjust machine guarding
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 current citations can be viewed at: http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/Timken_Co_462358_1205_12.pdf.

The company 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.

The Canton, Ohio-based company engineers, manufactures and markets mechanical components and high-performance steel, such as bearings, engineered steel bars and tubes, and transmissions and gearboxes. About 300 workers are employed at the Canton facility; corporate-wide the company operates in 30 countries and employs about 21,000 workers.



OSHA cited Five Star Custom Foods Ltd. for 25 serious safety and health violations. Subcontractor Packers Sanitation Services Inc. has been cited for two serious safety violations concerning exposure to hazardous chemicals at the company's facility on East First Street. Penalties total $134,000 collectively.

OSHA officials opened an investigation on June 12 under the agency's national emphasis program on process safety management, known as PSM, for covered chemical facilities. Investigators found that employees, while conducting operations in the facility's refrigeration system, were exposed to the catastrophic release of toxic and corrosive chemicals.

Fourteen serious violations involved failing to:
  • ensure that equipment related to the process complied with recognized and generally accepted good engineering practices; recommendations in the process hazard analysis were processed
  • annually certify standard operating procedures
  • provide an ammonia detector system
  • inform contract employees of the potential of fire and/or toxic release hazards
  • failing to conduct compliance audits at least every three years
An additional 11 safety violations involved failing to
  • develop machine-specific lockout/tagout procedures for the control of hazardous energy
  • maintain work areas free of slip, trip and fall hazards
  • keep exit areas unobstructed
  • to address electrical wiring deficiencies
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.

OSHA also cited Packers Sanitation Services, which provides janitorial services, with two serious safety violations involving the failure to train employees to work with hazardous chemicals and not providing safety data sheets.

The citations can be viewed at:
http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/Five_Star_Custom_Foods_LTD_487978_1212_12.pdf http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/Packers_Sanitation_Services_Inc_469798_1212_12.pdf



Related Past Posts:
Significant OSHA Citations for the week ending December 8th

Significant OSHA Citations - Week Ending December 1st
Significant OSHA Citations - Week Ending November 24th

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