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, September 23, 2013

OSHA Significant Citations - Cited For Failing To Train For Warehouse Evacuation

OSHA Significant 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.

Massachusetts Contractor Cited For Serious and Willful Violations ($336,000)
Piramal Glass USA Cited For 21 OSHA Violations ($137,400)
Los Angeles Engineering, Inc. Cited Following Fatal Trench Collapse ($100,635)
Failure To Train and Drill on Warehouse Evacuation Routes ($340,595)

Twin Pines Construction Inc. of Everett, Massachusetts, has been cited by OSHA for willful, repeat and serious violations of workplace safety standards at worksites in Plymouth and Reading, MA. The wood framing contractor faces a combined total of $336,200 in proposed fines following inspections by OSHA's Braintree and Andover area offices begun in March.

The Plymouth inspection was initiated March 15 after a worker suffered broken ribs and leg injuries when an unbraced wooden roof truss system collapsed around him at a worksite located at 1 Shinglewood. The Reading inspection was opened the same day after OSHA received a complaint about possible safety hazards at the 1 Jacobs Way jobsite.

At the Plymouth worksite, OSHA found that the trusses were not adequately braced during their installation, exposing employees to being struck by them. The workers were also exposed to falls of up to 12 feet during the installation of the trusses. Inspectors identified an impalement hazard from uncovered anchor bolts and additional fall and struck-by hazards from a misused ladder and uninspected and untagged rigging. These conditions resulted in OSHA issuing Twin Pines two willful, two repeat and four serious citations with $196,200 in proposed fines. The repeat violations stem from similar hazards cited by OSHA in 2009 and 2011 at jobsites in Walpole, Mass. and Portsmouth, N.H.

OSHA found employees at the Reading worksite working without fall protection while framing exterior walls, making final deck attachments, constructing leading edges and receiving construction building materials. This lack of fall protection exposed them to falls of from 10 to 20 feet. As a result, OSHA issued two willful citations, with $140,000 in fines, to Twin Pines.

The citations can be viewed at:

Twin Pines Construction Inc. 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.

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

OSHA has created a Stop Falls Web page at http://www.osha.gov/stopfalls with detailed information in English and Spanish on fall protection standards. The page offers fact sheets, posters and videos that vividly illustrate various fall hazards and appropriate preventive measures.

Piramal Glass USA Inc. has been cited by OSHA for 21 safety and health violations after a worker suffered a finger amputation while repairing a machine at the Park Hills manufacturing plant on March 14. Prior to maintenance, the machine was not isolated from its energy source. Proposed penalties total $137,400.

One repeat violation, which was previously cited in October 2010, involves improperly mounting metallic receptacle boxes to a firm surface. 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.

The serious violations included 13 that were safety-related. The serious violations included:
  • lack of e-stop devices on lathes, grinding, drilling and milling machines
  • failing to equip a lathe with a foot-operated guarding device
  • unguarded floor holes and missing railings
  • not complying with OSHA's lockout/tagout standards
  • failing to complete periodic LOTO audits
  • securing lockout/tagout devices with duct tape
  • not following adequate LOTO procedures
  • not providing production workers with lockout devices and training on isolating energy sources to a bottle-making machine
Five serious health violations involved:
  • failing to develop and implement a noise monitoring program
  • exposing workers to noise exposure levels above the time-weighted average
  • failing to ensure the use of hearing protection
  • lack of personal protective equipment and barrier guards to protect workers from excessive heat exposure
  • failing to maintain clean and dry floors in work rooms
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.

Additionally, two other-than-serious violations were failing to identify machinery on periodic audit records and inspect fire extinguishers. 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 current citations may be viewed at:

Piramal Glass, headquartered in Park Hills, also operates facilities in Mays Landing and Williamstown, N.J., as well as in India and Sri Lanka. The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and notice of proposed penalties to contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. If a company does not file or contest within that period, it must abate the cited conditions within the period ordered in the citations and pay the proposed penalties.

Cal/OSHA has cited Covina-based Los Angeles Engineering, Inc. following a trench collapse last March which killed one employee and severely injured another. The two pipe layers were checking the depth of the trench when an unshored wall caved in.

Cal/OSHA issued four citations to Los Angeles Engineering, Inc., one general, two serious, and one willful serious violation, totaling $100,635.

Violations included:
  • failure to properly protect the trench from caving in
  • not inspecting the trench after a cave-in that occurred earlier in the day
  • lack of employee training on heat illness prevention
  • lack of an effective Injury and Illness Prevention Plan
The citation was classified as Willful because the employer failed to install the required shoring in the trench after the earlier cave-in and still sent workers into the unprotected trench.

A Willful violation is cited when an employer is aware that a hazardous condition exists but makes no reasonable effort to eliminate it. A Serious workplace safety violation is cited when there is a realistic possibility that death or serious physical harm could result from the actual hazard created by the violation. A General violation is one in which an accident or illness may result but would probably not cause death or serious harm.

Failure To Train and Drill on Warehouse Evacuation Routes

Ten companies renting space in a Unicold refrigerated warehouse, plus Unicold, have been fined a total of $340,595 for failing to train and drill employees on evacuation routes. HR.BLR.com reports that:

"The Hawaii State Department of Labor and Industrial Relations’ (DLIR) Hawaii Occupational Safety and Health Division (HIOSH) has issued 59 serious citations with proposed fines of up to $89,265 (each) to companies who shared a warehouse in Honolulu."

Read this story in HR.BLR.com

Related Past Posts:
OSHA Significant Citations - CVS Faces Fines
OSHA Significant Citations - Adams Thermal To Pay $1.33 Million
OSHA Significant Citations - $550,000 In Fines

MSHA, Engineering Firm Reach Settlement In Utah Mine Collapse ($100,000)

The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) announced that it submitted a settlement agreement between MSHA and Agapito Associates Inc. in the August 2007 Crandall Canyon Mine disaster to the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission.

Under the settlement agreement, the mining engineering consulting firm accepted responsibility and agreed to pay $100,000 for a high negligence violation for its role in the mine collapse that killed six miners and three rescue workers at Genwal Resources Inc.’s underground coal mine in Emery County, Utah.

According to MSHA’s investigation, the miners were killed when roof-supporting coal pillars collapsed in a catastrophic outburst that violently ejected coal over a half-mile area in the underground mine tunnels. Ten days later, two mine employees and an MSHA inspector died in another coal outburst that occurred during rescue efforts.

 The investigation also determined that the flawed engineering analysis by Agapito resulted in an inadequate mine design, with unsafe pillar dimensions, which contributed to the accident. Genwal and its parent company, UtahAmerican Energy Inc. submitted their mining plan to MSHA based on Agapito’s analysis.

If approved by the administrative law judge, the settlement will mark the end of legal proceedings brought by the federal government arising from the 2007 mine disaster. In September 2012, Genwal Resources and Andalex Resources Inc., also owned by UtahAmerican Energy, agreed to pay nearly $950,000 in civil penalties for Crandall Canyon violations. In addition, Genwal Resources pled guilty in federal court to two criminal misdemeanors for its willful violation of mandatory health and safety standards at the mine and agreed to pay a $500,000 fine.

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posted by Steve Hudgik
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