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, February 11, 2013

Last Week's Significant OSHA Citations

The following is a summary of OSHA and state OSHA significant citations that have proposed fines over $100,000 that were announced during the week ending February 9th.

The following are based on a press releases from OSHA and other sources. We are now including reports from states, such as California, Oregon and Wyoming, in which the state has responsibility for workplace safety enforcement.

OSHA fines Grede Wisconsin for hazards at iron foundry ($274,500)
OSHA fines Allentown soft drink company for repeat safety and health hazards ($129,745)
Sinclair Rawlins refinery fined by Wyoming OSHA ($259,950)
OSHA cites Kingston, NY, manufacturer for 23 serious safety violations ($123,000)

OSHA has cited Grede Wisconsin Subsidiaries LLC for 28, including three repeat, health violations under the national and regional emphasis program on primary metal industries for exposing workers to crystalline silica dust and other hazards at the Browntown iron foundry following an August 2012 inspection. Proposed penalties total $274,500.

There were three repeat violations:
  • exposing workers to respirable dust containing silica above the recommended exposure level
  • unguarded conveyor tail pulleys
  • failing to apply energy isolating devices to equipment during service and maintenance
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 2010 following an inspection at the company's Berlin plant and in 2009 at the Browntown plant.

A total of 24 serious violations included:
  • violating OSHA's confined space permit regulations
  • excessive accumulation of sand and dust
  • unguarded railings
  • failing to provide adequate personal protective equipment for eyes, hands, and face to protect against metal splash hazards
  • failing to provide hazardous energy control procedures
  • failure to provide employees effective information and training on hazardous chemicals in their work area
  • failure to provide employee representatives with access to exposure records within a reasonable time frame
Several violations were cited regarding respiratory protection, including a lack of medical evaluations, fit testing and training. 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.

There was one other-than-serious violation was issued for not allowing OSHA representatives prompt access to employee exposure records.

OSHA has placed Grede Wisconsin Subsidiaries in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program, which 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.

Grede Wisconsin Subsidiaries employs about 200 workers at the Browntown facility, which specializes in the production of castings in ductile and gray iron and is operated by Southfield, Mich.-based Grede Holdings LLC, which has 21 facilities in the U.S., Europe and Japan.

Since 2010, the company has been inspected by OSHA 20 times, resulting in numerous violations, including seven issued in November 2012 after a follow-up inspection at its Berlin plant. The citations can be viewed at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/GredeWisconsinSubsidiariesLLC_551899_0201_13.pdf.

OSHA has cited A-Treat Bottling Co. with 16 safety and health violations, including 14 repeat, at its Allentown, PA facility. OSHA's August 2012 inspection was conducted as a follow-up from an earlier inspection in January 2011. Proposed fines total $129,745.

The repeat violations, with a penalty of $125,895, resulted from OSHA finding:
  • electrical hazards
  • failing to conduct baseline and annual audiograms
  • failing to establish noise engineering controls
  • failure to provide noise training
  • lack of machine guarding
  • lack of machine-specific hazardous energy control procedures and training
  • not providing an unobstructed means of egress
  • failure to ensure the proper use of flexible cable
Similar violations were cited at the Allentown facility in 2008, 2010 and 2011.

One serious violation, with a $3,850 fine, involved improper material storage in an electrical service room.

One other-than-serious violation with no monetary penalty was cited for a defective forklift on a powered industrial truck. 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.

You can see the letter and other materials OSHA sent to A-Treat here and at

A-Treat Bottling Co. 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.

The Wyoming Occupational Safety and Health Administration has proposed a $259,950 fine against the Sinclair Rawlins, Wyoming Refinery.

This fine is the largest that has been levied against the refinery, with the majority of the fine, $165,000, being for repeat violations.  The repeat violations include:

  • failure to ensure proper employee training
  • a lack of up-to-date diagrams for some piping at the facility
New violations include
  • failure to ensure all equipment was built to design specifications
  • failure to cover open floor holes
  • lack of a fire extinguisher at an assigned location
 Read the story in the Wyoming Trib

OSHA has cited Hunter Panels LLC with 23 alleged serious safety violations at its Kingston, N.Y., production plant. The manufacturer of roof insulation panels faces a total of $123,000 in fines following an inspection that began in July 2012 by OSHA's Albany Area Office.

OSHA found several deficiencies in the plant's process safety management program, a detailed set of requirements and procedures employers must follow to address proactively hazards associated with processes and equipment involving large amounts of hazardous chemicals. In this case, the chemical was n-pentane, an organic compound used in the manufacturing process. The cited deficiencies included:
  • missing process safety information
  • failing to develop and implement safe work practices
  • failure to correct equipment deficiencies
  • failure to follow up on the findings of compliance audits
  • failure to address all hazards identified during a process hazard analysis
  • failure to document the resolution of corrective actions. 
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's inspection also identified:
  • deficiencies in the plant's emergency response, confined space and hazardous energy control programs
  • lack of personal protective equipment
  • accumulation of combustible dust
  • fall hazards
  • respirator hazards.
The citations can be viewed at www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/HunterCitations.pdf.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, meet with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Related Past Posts:

Significant OSHA Citations - Week Ending February 2nd>
Significant OSHA Citations - Week Ending January 28th
Significant OSHA Citations - Week Ending January 19th

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