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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.


Thursday, June 13, 2013

OSHA Serious Citations

The following is a summary of recent OSHA and state OSHA significant citations. These are citations that have proposed fines over $100,000 and that were announced during the past week.

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 Gilman Cheese Corp. After Amputation ($126,700)
Two Contractors Cited For Trenching Hazards In NJ ($130,500)
Workers Exposed to 13,200 Volt Unguarded Power Lines ($465,410)
Orange County, NY, Manufacturer Faces Additional Fine ($117,920)


Photo from Wikki Commons
OSHA has cited Gilman Cheese Corp. for ten safety violations with $126,700 in proposed fines. A worker had two fingers amputated by an unguarded cheese packing and labeling machine at the Gilman factory. A January inspection was prompted by a referral. OSHA found that another worker suffered a similar amputation in January 2012.

Two willful violations involve failing to develop and train workers on machine-specific lockout procedures to prevent unexpected start-up and lockout machinery during servicing and maintenance, and to provide adequate machine guarding. 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.

Additionally, six serious violations involved:
  • inadequate guarding on a bench grinder and a portable grinder
  • lack of adequate emergency eyewash stations for workers handling corrosives
  • operating powered industrial vehicles without adequate training and inspections
  • using a flexible cord as permanent wiring
  • lack of an electrical safety program
  • failing to provide training on bloodborne pathogens to those who cleaned equipment following the amputation.
Two other-than-serious violations included obstructing a means of egress and using compressed air greater than 30 pounds per square inch for cleaning.

Because of the hazards and the willful violations cited, Gilman Cheese Corp. has been placed in OSHA's Severe Violator Enforcement Program, which mandates targeted follow-up inspections to ensure compliance with the law. Under the program, OSHA may inspect any of the employer's facilities or job sites.

The citations may be viewed at:
http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/Gilman_Cheese_Corp_829801_06-07-13.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.


Generic Backhoe Photo by Tomasz Sienicki
VM Construction Inc., based in Miami, and Concrete Systems Inc., based in Sterling, were cited by OSHA for willful and repeat trenching hazards found at a Kearny, NJ work site. OSHA's November 2012 investigation was prompted by an imminent danger complaint that alleged workers operated in an unprotected excavation eight feet deep.

One willful violation, carrying a $28,000 penalty, was cited against VM Construction Inc. for having workers operating in an unprotected excavation.

VM Construction was also cited for one serious violation, with a $2,400 penalty, for failing to ensure a competent person inspected the excavation prior to allowing workers to enter.

Concrete Systems Inc., a concrete and masonry contractor, faces $100,100 in penalties for two repeat violations involving workers operating in an unprotected excavation and entering an excavation that was not inspected beforehand by a competent person. Similar violations were cited in 2008.

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

The citations can be viewed at:
http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/ConcreteSystems_772381_0605_13.pdf
http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/VMConstruction_770662_0605_13.pdf

Both companies have 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with the OSHA area director in Parsippany, or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.


Photo by Stefan
OSHA cited three contractors, with proposed penalties totaling $465,410, for alleged willful and serious workplace safety violations at a construction work site located at 14 Brooklyn Ave. in Valley Stream, NY.

Electrocution hazards resulted in the largest of the fines after inspectors from OSHA's Long Island Area Office found that workers for the three contractors performed their concrete work and crane operations close to energized 13,200-volt overhead power lines. Vordonia Contracting and Supplies Corp./Alma Realty Corp. of Long Island City was the general contractor on construction of a five-story concrete business and residential building where the violations were found. Masonry Services Inc., doing business as MSI, of Brooklyn, and North Eastern Precast LLC, of Fultonville, were the masonry and concrete subcontractors.

All three employers were issued willful citations for allowing employees and crane operations in close proximity to the power lines. They were issued serious citations for not marking the power lines with warning signs.

MSI and North Eastern Precast were issued serious citations for:
  • not assuming the power lines were energized
  • not checking with the utility operator whether lines had been de-energized
  • not training workers on electrocution hazards
  • not having cranes inspected by a qualified person after assembly
  • not marking the crane's swing radius
  • not having protective helmets
  • not having labeled and protected rigging

All three employers were issued serious citations for not marking overhead power lines with warning signs. MSI was issued a repeat citation for unguarded rebar; they were cited in March 2010 for the same hazard at a Brooklyn work site.

In total, Vordonia was issued two willful and one serious citation, with $145,530 in fines; MSI was issued two willful, one repeat and 10 serious citations, with $181,280 in fines; and North Eastern Precast was issued two willful and 10 serious citations, with $138,600 in fines.

The citations can be viewed at:
http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/804265_Masonry_Services_Citations.pdf
http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/804281_North_Eastern_Citations.pdf
http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/777302_Vordonia_Citations.pdf

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. 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. A repeat citation is issued 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.

Each employer 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.


S.A. Baxter LLC, an architectural hardware manufacturer, faces a total of $117,920 in additional fines from OSHA for failing to correct hazards previously cited at the Chester manufacturing plant. The follow-up inspection began in April by OSHA's Albany Area Office.

The company did not implement a specific respiratory protection program for plant workers at its work site. Violations cited include:
  • failure to provide a medical evaluation to determine worker fitness to wear a respirator
  • failure to fit-test respirators before use by a worker
  • failure to train workers in fire extinguisher use
  • failure to mark an exit door
  • having an exposed opening in an electrical cabinet
Six failure-to-abate notices were issued, carrying $101,200 in proposed fines. A failure-to-abate notice applies to a condition, hazard or practice found upon reinspection that the employer was originally cited for and has not corrected.

Three repeat citations, with $13,200 in fines, involve:
  • improper storage of respirators
  • lack of a hazard communication program
  • no hazard communication training for working with or near hazardous chemicals
Two serious citations, with $3,520 in fines, were issued for lack of respirator training and an unlighted exit sign. 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.

S.A. Baxter LLC has elected to contests its citations, failure to abate notices and proposed penalties to the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The citations can be viewed at:
http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/SA_Baxter_Cases.pdf 

To see an article in the Times-Herald Record - click here.


Related Past Posts:
OSHA Significant Citations - Recycling Company Cited For LOTO Violation
Significant Citations - Massachusetts Contractor Faces Fines
Last Week's Significant OSHA Citations

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posted by Steve Hudgik
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1 Comments:

Anonymous argydavid said...

Good to see that OSHA is on the look-out for hazards that can harm workers. Thank you for sharing this.

12:30 AM  

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