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, April 22, 2013

OSHA Significant Citations This Week

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 April 20th.

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 fines Ball Aerosol for unguarded machinery ($589,000)
OSHA fines North Bergen, NJ laundry for Safety Hazards ($219,000)
KG Framing and Construction cited for lack of fall protection ($121,480)

OSHA has cited Ball Aerosol and Specialty Container with 11 safety violations, including seven willful and three repeat, for exposing workers to machine guarding hazards at its Hubbard metal container manufacturing facility. The total of the proposed fines is $589,000.

OSHA initiated an inspection of the facility on Oct. 17, 2012, after receiving a complaint that alleged Ball Aerosol continued to expose machine operators to unguarded hazardous machinery, even though the employer had been cited by OSHA for lack of machine guarding on the same equipment in 2009. OSHA's inspection found that the company knowingly permitted workers to operate the machines without proper guarding. The inspection revealed that the guarding was not installed or was removed because it slowed material positioning and production output.

WFMJ is reporting that "In a statement, Renee Robinson, manager of corporate communications for Ball Aerosol, said  the company says it disagrees with the characterizations made in the OSHA release"
"We intend to resolve our disagreements throught the regulatory process and accordingly cannot comment further, except to note we take this issue very seriously and have begun a review of OSHA's citation and the safety processes we have in place. We will take whatever measures that are appropriate at the end of this review to ensure that we are continuing to maintain a safe environment for our employees," Robinson said in the statement.

OSHA reports that six willful, egregious citations were issued for inadequate machine guarding over the blades of slitter machines. The citations are being issued as willful because the company certified abatement for machine guarding on much of this equipment in 2009 and had a history of machine guarding violations in the past. OSHA also found that the company knowingly continued to violate agency requirements each time the machinery was placed in operation.

A seventh willful citation was issued for lack of machine guarding over nip points and rotating parts on feed tables that was also cited in 2009. Lack of machine guarding exposes operators to amputation hazards of the hands and fingers, which may enter the danger zone during machine operation.

Three repeat safety violations were cited for:
  • failing to provide fire extinguisher training to employees
  • failure to provide machine guarding to protect operators from rotating parts, nip and pinch points in machine areas
  • not guarding the blades at two mechanical guillotine shears
These violations were previously cited during the 2009 inspection.

One serious citation was issued for exposing workers to falls of approximately 10 feet while working on a platform with open sides. 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, Ball Aerosol 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 Broomfield, Colorado., produces small metal containers for use by a variety of food, beverage and chemical industries. The company employs about 12,000 workers, operates 31 production plants in the U.S. and has facilities in Asia, Europe, South America and Canada. The Hubbard facility employs 57 workers and specializes in the production of three-piece welded paint and general lines cans.

The current citations may be viewed at:

Industrial laundry dryer.
Photo by Samuli Lintula with Turun
Tekstiilihuolto Oy
OSHA has cited Prestige Industries LLC, doing business as Prestige, with four repeat and five serious safety violations found at its commercial laundry facility in North Bergen.

OSHA's October 2012 investigation was initiated in response to a complaint and resulted in $219,000 in proposed penalties.

The repeat violations, carrying an $185,500 penalty, include the company's failure to:
  • protect workers from unguarded machinery
  • establish a lockout/tagout program and procedures for controlling energy sources
  • provide energy control training for workers who perform maintenance on machines
The same violations were cited in 2012 following a worker's death after being caught in an unguarded machine at its Bayshore, N.Y., facility. The serious violations, with a $33,500 penalty, were due to:
  • electrical hazards
  • an inadequate confined space program
  • failure to identify permit required confined spaces
  • no hazard communication program
  • lack of training and material safety data sheets
A serious citation is issued 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:

Prestige Industries LLC, based in Jersey City, has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal onference with the OSHA area director in Parsippany, or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Wood framed house. - Photo by Jaksmata
OSHA has cited roofing contractor KG Framing and Construction LLC with 12 safety violations, including one willful and three repeat, for failing to provide roofers with protection from falls at a commercial shopping site in Maryland Heights. Proposed fines total $121,480. The company has been cited six times for this same violation.

 The inspection was initiated on Oct. 12, 2012, after an OSHA inspector observed roofers on a pitched roof, at a height greater than 14 feet, working without personal fall arrest systems. Other workers were wearing harnesses that were not properly attached to them or not attached to anchor points. A willful citation was issued due to the company's failure to ensure all workers were provided fall protection and, when provided, allowing improper use when worn.

Three repeat violations involve:
  • allowing workers to use pneumatic nail guns without any form of eye or face protection
  • a lack of fall protection training
  • failing to extend ladders at least 3 feet above the landing surface
Similar violations were cited in 2010 and 2011 at four construction sites in the St. Louis metropolitan area. More information on fall protection standards is available in English and Spanish at http://www.osha.gov/stopfalls.

Eight serious violations included:
  • a lack of hard hats
  • not conducting regular inspections and providing guarding on power-transmission apparatus
  • allowing workers to use ladders with structural defects
  • carrying objects while on a ladder and risking losing balance
  • placing unsecured ladders in areas where they could be displaced
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:

Because of the hazards and the violations cited, KG Framing and Construction has been placed in OSHA's Severe Violator Enforcement Program, which mandates targeted follow-up inspections to ensure compliance with the law.

This inspection was the sixth for KG Framing and Construction in the past six years. The company made no attempt to resolve the first findings in the three inspections, and penalties were sent to debt collection. The company contested two inspections from 2011 that were affirmed by a final order in December 2012.

Related Past Posts:
OSHA Significant Citations - Week Ending April 13th
OSHA Significant Citations - Week Ending April 6th
Significant OSHA Citations - Week Ending March 30th

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posted by Steve Hudgik
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