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DuraLabel's Weekly Safety News

Blog Author Steve Hudgik

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, March 11, 2013

OSHA Significant 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 March 9th.

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

OSHA Proposes Fines Against Mahle Engine Components USA for 26 Violations ($369,000)
Southern Hens cited by OSHA for 43 safety and health violations ($160,000)


OSHA has cited Mahle Engine Components USA Inc. with 26 health and safety violations, including eight repeat, for exposing workers to electrical, lead and machine guarding hazards at its McConnelsville automotive parts manufacturing facility.

Proposed fines total $369,000.


OSHA cited six repeat safety violations for failing to:
  • mount and identify fire extinguishers
  • provide machine guarding
  • ensure safe work practices when exposed to electrical hazards
  • ground pins from electrical equipment
  • train workers on recognizing electrical hazards.
Two repeat health violations were cited for lead exposure, including failing to record employees' blood lead levels to monitor exposure to lead, and failure to test the clean room for lead contamination. Lead can cause damage to the nervous system and other organs if inhaled or ingested in dangerous quantities.

Mahle Engine Components USA was previously cited for these violations during inspections in 2009 and 2011 at the McConnelsville location as well as at facilities in Manchester, MO., and Trumbull, CT.

A total of 18 serious violations were cited. These included:
  • lack of machine guarding
  • improper storage of acetylene and oxygen cylinders
  • electrical hazards
  • lack of load ratings on hook lifting devices
  • allowing operators to carry loads traveling over people creating a struck-by hazard
  • improper storage of respirators
  • failing to provide appropriate personal protective equipment and require its use
  • not keeping the tables in the lunch room clean and free of lead accumulation.
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.
Because of the hazards and the violations cited, Mahle Engine Components has been placed in OSHA's Severe Violator Enforcement Program, which mandates targeted follow-up inspections to ensure compliance with the law. OSHA's SVEP 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 if it has reasonable grounds to believe there are similar violations.

The company, headquartered in Morristown, Tenn., has operated the McConnelsville facility since 2008 and is a subsidiary of the Mahle Group, which employees about 50,000 workers and operates about 100 production plants worldwide. Inspected in 2009 and 2010, the McConnelsville facility has been cited with a total of 17 violations.

The current citations may be viewed at:
http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/Mahle_687758_0304_13.pdf
http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/Mahle_619418_0304_13.pdf

The company has 15 business days from receipt of its 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 Southern Hens Inc. with 43 safety and health violations following the death of a worker who slipped and fell into an unguarded screw conveyor while cleaning the conveyor at the company's Moselle facility. OSHA initiated the inspection Sept. 9, 2012, in response to the fatality.

The 37 serious safety and health violations cited included failing to:
  • establish an audiometric testing program
  • protect propane tanks from vehicular traffic
  • provide personal protective equipment for employees
  • conduct monthly inspections of self-contained breathing apparatuses
  • evaluate hazards in the workplace to determine if any spaces were permit required confined spaces
  • identify mechanical hazards in the offal pits prior to employees entering
  • provide training for employees entering offal pits
  • develop energy control procedures for augers, chillers, scalders, cookers and dumpers
  • provide lockout/tagout training of energy sources to all affected workers
  • maintain exits clear of obstructions
  • have visible exit signs
  • machine guarding on several machines
  • prevent exposure to shock, struck-by, burn, crushing, tripping, falling, slipping and amputation 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.
Six other-than-serious safety and health violations include failing to:
  • post the approved floor load capacity for the parts supply area above the maintenance office
  • post not-an-exit sign in the evisceration room and steam cook area
  • have cover plates on electrical boxes
  • allow a metal duplex receptacle and flexible cord to be used instead of permanent wiring
  • and not labeling containers of chlorinated sanitizer and refrigeration oil.
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 for the serious violations carry a proposed penalty of $160,000. The citations for the other-than-serious violations do not carry monetary penalties. The citations can be viewed at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/southern-hens-inc_62087803_03072013.pdf.

The poultry processing plant 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.


Related Past Posts:
Significant OSHA Citations - Week Ending March 2nd
Significant OSHA Citations - Week Ending February 23rd
Significant OSHA Citations - Week Ending February 16th


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posted by Steve Hudgik
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