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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.


Friday, August 02, 2013

OSHA Significant Citations - $618,000 Proposed In Three Citations

This is a summary of the OSHA and state OSHA significant citations announced in the past week. These are citations that have proposed total fines that exceed $100,000.



Western Sugar Cooperative Cited for 17 Safety Violations ($193,300)
Richmond, Texas, Construction Company Cited for 17 Safety Violations ($131,670)
Guam Shipyard Cited with 61 Repeat and Serious Violations ($293,450)


OSHA has cited The Western Sugar Cooperative in Billings, Mont., with 17 violations of safety and health standards, including 12 serious and four repeat. The Denver-based sugar producer faces $193,300 in proposed fines following a January inspection conducted by OSHA's Billings Area Office at the Billings manufacturing plant under the agency's National Emphasis Program for Site Specific Targeting.

The four repeat safety violations involved:
  • hazards associated with excessive accumulations of combustible coal dust
  • unguarded elevated platforms
  • lack of signs on permit spaces
  • unguarded horizontal shafting
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. OSHA has inspected this employer 16 times since February 2008, finding 30 violations at work sites in Montana, Nebraska, Colorado and Wyoming.

OSHA also cited The Western Sugar Cooperative for 12 serious safety violations, including:
  • unsafe use of flexible cords and electrical equipment
  • open junction boxes
  • inadequate fire exits
  • failure to provide standard railings on stairways
  • unguarded points of operation and rotating parts
  • unguarded vertical shafting and projecting shaft ends
  • overhead crane hook 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. In addition, OSHA inspectors found one other-than-serious safety violation for the employer's failure to provide workers with basic information on respirators.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

The citations can be viewed at:
http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/The_Western_Sugar_Cooperative_879483_0725_13.pdf


OSHA has cited SCR Construction Co. Inc. of Richmond, Texas, with 17 safety violations and placed the company in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program following the death in January of a worker. The worker was killed when the flammable barrel he was torch cutting exploded at the employer's maintenance yard in Richmond.

"SCR Construction was aware of a near miss involving ignition and overpressurization of another drum just weeks before the fatal explosion, and did nothing to address it, which could have prevented this tragedy," said Mark Briggs, director of OSHA's Houston South Area Office. "It is the employer's responsibility to safeguard the workplace, and that means finding and fixing those hazards that could lead to injury or loss of life."

A willful violation was cited for failing to thoroughly clean drums or barrels containing flammable substances before welding or cutting work to prevent worker exposure to ignition or toxic emissions. 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.

The 12 serious violations include:
  • failing to provide hand and eye protection
  • failing to lockout and tagout energy sources
  • not training and certifying workers on powered industrial trucks
  • failing to provide machine guarding
  • failing to properly store and handle compressed gas
  • not providing hazard communication 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.

Four other-than-serious violations included:
  • failing to provide an inhalation exposure assessment
  • failing to provide respiratory protection
  • failing to provide a personal protective equipment hazard assessment
  • failing to mark and inspect the alloy steel and synthetic web slings
OSHA has placed SCR Construction Co. Inc. in its SVEP, which mandates targeted follow-up inspections .

Proposed penalties total $131,670. The citations can be viewed at:
http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/SCR894104.pdf.


OSHA has cited Guam Industrial Services Inc. in Santa Rita, doing business as Guam Shipyard, for a total of 61 alleged violations of workplace safety and health standards. The company faces a total of $293,450 in proposed fines following an inspection conducted by OSHA's Honolulu Area Office between January and February under the agency's Local Emphasis Program for Shipyards. The alleged violations include 46 serious, seven repeat and eight other-than-serious violations.

The 46 serious safety and health violations include electrical hazards, such as:
  • failure to guard lights from damage
  • failure to ground equipment
  • failure to provide covers on electrical box openings
  • failure to ensure wiring was protected from abrasion and strain
The employer was also cited for:
  • the lack of guardrail protections
  • failure to establish and implement a lockout/tagout program
  • lack of a respiratory protection program
  • failure to maintain good housekeeping practices
  • failure to check, inspect and maintain portable fire extinguishers
Workers were also exposed to metal fumes and were not properly wearing respiratory protection. Inspectors found that the employer did not conduct air monitoring to determine workers' exposure level to cadmium.

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 seven repeat violations, totaling $145,000, included:
  • inadequate guardrails and fall prevention
  • failure to remove defective gear used with cranes
  • lack of eye protection
  • electrical wiring hazards
The shipyard has responded to the OSHA citations. stating that they intend to dispute the citations. Reach their statement in the Pacific News Center.

he 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 to the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.


Related Past Posts:
OSHA Significant Citations - Arkansas Refinery Fined
OSHA Significant Citations - Metal Processing Facility Fined
No Significant OSHA Citations This Week

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posted by Steve Hudgik
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