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DuraLabel's Weekly Safety News

Blog Author Angelique Sanders

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, September 30, 2013

OSHA Significant Citations - Nearly $1,000,000 In Citations Last Week

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.



Wylie, Texas, Metal Extruder Cited For 15 Safety Violations ($166,000)
Nebraska Cold Storage Cited For Ammonia Exposure ($132,800)
Safety hazards at Midtown Manhattan site Result In OSHA Citations ($272,000)
Seven Trade Fair Supermarkets n Queens, NY, Cited ($128,000)
Georgia Power Cited For 17 Serious Violations Following Explosion ($119,000)
OSHA Cites 4 Russellville, AK, Employers In Crane Collapse ($175,000)


OSHA has cited Extruders Inc., a division of Atrium Companies Inc. in Wylie, for $166,000 in proposed penalties. The penalties are for 15 safety violations, including one willful, and for failing to protect workers from the inadvertent start-up of machinery during maintenance.

OSHA's Dallas Area Office began its March inspection of the company's Hensley Lane location following complaints about safety hazards. The one willful safety violation was cited for failing to develop written procedures and make them available to workers. 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 14 serious violations cited include failing to:
  • ensure and verify a workplace hazard assessment
  • provide eye protection to workers with prescription eyeglasses
  • conduct periodic inspection of lockout/tagout operations
  • provide lockout/tagout training for affected workers
  • ensure the use of specific shift change procedures to prevent serious injuries or fatalities
  • ensure machine guards are affixed to machines
  • legibly mark disconnections of the electrical panel breakers
  • provide a way to lock an equipment's means of disconnection in the open position
  • provide training on safe electrical work practices
  • ensure the de-energization of live electrical parts
  • ensure only qualified individuals work on electric circuit parts or equipment still energized
  • provide workers with electrical protective equipment.
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 citations can be viewed at:
http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/Extruders_Inc_898976_0924_13.pdf

Extruders Inc. is an aluminum extruder that makes windows and door frames. The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's Dallas area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.


Nebraska Cold Storage Inc. of Hastings, NE, has been cited for 14 safety violations and fined $132,800 by OSHA for exposing workers to anhydrous ammonia at its Hastings facility. The company has been placed in OSHA's Severe Violator Enforcement Program.

The March inspection was initially conducted under OSHA's high-hazard local emphasis program. It expanded to include all items within the agency's national emphasis program for process safety management for covered chemical facilities. The company provides basic storage and shipping services for the frozen, refrigerated and perishable food industries.

Four willful violations were cited. Some involving PSM violations, including:
  • the failure to develop and implement written, safe operating and mechanical integrity procedures and measures to take for physical contact or airborne exposure to anhydrous ammonia
  • failing to correct deficiencies in equipment and to document responses to 2010 compliance audit findings, including 12 of 22 deficient audit items that remained uncorrected
A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for, or plain indifference to, employee safety and health.

A total of 10 serious safety violations included:
  • lack of emergency action planning
  • failing to maintain the original ammonia refrigeration systems process hazard analysis
  • exposing workers to crushing hazards by failing to remove and/or repair damaged storage racks
  • failing to evaluate the performance of a powered industrial truck operator every three years
  • failing to prevent electrocution from ice buildup encasing electrical junction boxes
  • operating equipment within 30 inches of a fork truck charging station
  • failing to install fixed wiring and provide strain relief for power cords
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 may be viewed at:
http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/Nebraska_Cold_Storage.pdf

OSHA's Severe Violator Enforcement Program 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 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.


OSHA has proposed $272,720 in fines against four New York contractors for safety hazards identified during the construction of a midtown Manhattan hotel. The March 21 inspection was conducted in response to a complaint about fall hazards at the 325 W. 33rd St. work site.

The largest penalties of $249,920 are proposed for Flintlock Construction Services LLC, the Mamaroneck-based general contractor for the construction of the 23-story hotel. Flintlock was cited for seven violations of OSHA's fall protection and scaffolding standards that involved workers exposed to potentially fatal falls of up to 26 feet while they were on scaffolding.

"These employees were one trip, slip or misstep away from a deadly or disabling fall. Falls are the leading cause of death among workers in construction," said Kay Gee, OSHA's area director for Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens. "There is no excuse for an employer's failure to supply and ensure the use of legally required safeguards that can prevent injuries and save lives. The sizable fines proposed reflect both the severity of these hazards and that Flintlock was aware of, and failed to correct, the hazards."

Specifically, Flintlock was cited for:
  • failing to provide and ensure the use of fall protection, such as guardrails or personal fall- arrest systems, for workers on the scaffold
  • scaffolding that lacked a safe means of access, causing workers to climb its cross-bracing to reach their work platforms
  • the work platforms were not fully planked
  • the scaffold was not tied off to restrain it from tipping
These conditions resulted in the issuance of four willful citations, with $233,200 in fines to Flintlock.

OSHA also issued three serious citations, with $16,720 in fines, to Flintlock for additional hazards. These include:
  • failing to provide training on the hazards associated with erecting scaffolds 
  • failing to have a competent person determine the feasibility of providing fall protection for workers erecting and dismantling the scaffolding
  • a scaffold walkway that was too narrow
  • inadequate anchorage for the fall protection system
V&P Altitude Corp., a Brooklyn-based siding contractor, was issued five serious citations, with $13,200 in fines, for lack of fall protection; no safe access to the scaffolding; not fully planking the scaffold platforms; failing to tie off the scaffolding; and not locking mobile scaffold wheels and casters.

SMK Associates, an Astoria-based masonry contractor, was issued three serious citations, with $7,600 in fines, for electrical hazards and failing to provide eye and face protection. Maspeth Steel Fabricators Inc., a Maspeth-based steel framing contractor, was issued one serious citation, with a $2,000 fine, for failing to provide training on the hazards of working on scaffolds.

The citations can be viewed at:
http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/FlintlockCitations.pdf
http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/SMKCitations.pdf
http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/VPCitations.pdf
http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/MaspethCitations.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.

Due to the nature and severity of violations committed by Flintlock Construction Services LLC, the general contractor 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.

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.

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


OSHA has cited seven Trade Fair Supermarkets stores in Queens for 40 violations of workplace safety standards. The local grocery store chain faces $128,000 in proposed fines following inspections that began in March in response to complaints.

"Our inspections found a disturbing and unacceptable pattern of similar hazards in several stores. For the safety and health of its employees, Trade Fair Supermarkets must take effective action to correct these conditions at these and all its stores," said Kay Gee, OSHA's area director for Queens, Manhattan and Brooklyn.

At the seven stores, OSHA found butchers operating band saws with unguarded blades and other workers using cleaning products without protective eye gear, exposing them to lacerations, amputations and eye injuries. Four of the stores compromised swift and safe exiting during a fire or emergency because of locked or blocked exits, obstructed exit access and unilluminated or missing exit signs. These conditions resulted in the issuance of 20 serious violation citations with $122,000 in proposed fines. 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, six stores failed to post the required annual summary of occupational illnesses and injuries. All seven stores lacked a chemical hazard communication program and training, and five stores had electrical hazards. These conditions resulted in citations for 20 other-than-serious violations with $6,000 in fines. 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.

All doing business as Trade Fair Supermarkets, the inspected stores included:
  • Kamal Corp., 30-08 30th Ave., Astoria
  • Loreen Food Corp., 37-11 Ditmar Blvd., Astoria
  • Nadine Food Corp., 99-10 Astoria Blvd., Corona
  • 89-02 Food Corp., 89-02 37th Ave., Jackson Heights
  • Ziad Food Corp., 22-20 36th Ave., Long Island City
  • Crescent Food Corp., 23-55 Broadway, Long Island City
  • Coro Food Corp., 49-11 30th Ave., Woodside
The citations can be viewed at:
https://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/Trade_Fair_Supermarket_Press_Release.pdf.

Trade Fair Supermarkets 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.


Georgia Power Bowen Plant - Photo By Sam Nash
The Georgia Power Bowen plant has been cited by OSHA for 17 serious safety violations following a generator explosion. The April 2013 explosion occurred during a maintenance shutdown at the plant in Cartersville. Proposed penalties total $119,000.

"Fortunately, no one was injured or killed as a result of this explosion," said Christi Griffin, director of OSHA's Atlanta-West Area Office. "Our inspection found several serious safety hazards that the company must address immediately to protect its workers."

The serious violations found at Bowen Generating Plant include:
  • a failure to comply with OSHA's tagout procedures for power generation plants
  • failure to ensure that the worker in charge conducted a safety briefing with workers before they start each job
  • using a tagout system without demonstrating it solely can provide full workers' protection
  • failure to develop, document and use procedures to control potentially hazardous energy
  • failure to describe the scope, purpose, responsibility, authorization and techniques for maintenance procedures
  • not following specific procedures to remove and transfer tagout devices
  • failing to perform an annual inspection of all energy control procedures
  • failure to use the shutdown procedures established for each machine or equipment
  • not prohibiting ignition sources near hydrogen or hydrogen sealing systems
  • not having a worker the responsible for overall tagout control
  • not verifying the isolation and de-energization of the machine or equipment
The citations can be viewed at:
http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/GeorgiaPowerCo_900009_0924_13.pdf

Georgia Power Co., a subsidiary of the Southern Co., employs approximately 8,000 workers, with about 300 at the Plant Bowen facility. The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed 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 Precision Surveillance Corp., Bigge Crane and Rigging Co., Siemens Power Generation Inc. and Entergy Operations Inc. for 30 safety violations after a Precision Surveillance worker was fatally injured when a crane collapsed at the Arkansas Nuclear One Power Plant last March. Eight other workers were injured.

Precision Surveillance Corp., in East Chicago, Ind., is being cited for one serious violation with a penalty of $6,300 for failing to provide an effective communication system to alert the operator or signalman through an emergency stop signal.

Bigge Crane and Rigging Co. in San Leandro, Calif., Siemens Power Generation Inc. in Orlando, Fla., and Entergy Operations Inc. in Russellville were being cited for failing to comply with crane-related hazards.

Bigge Crane is being cited for nine serious violations with a penalty of $56,700.

Siemens is being cited for nine serious violations with a penalty of $63,000.

Entergy is being cited for 11 serious violations with a penalty of $49,000. P

The proposed penalties for all violations total $175,000. 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.

Citations for Precision Surveillance can be viewed at:
http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/Precision_Surveillance_Corp_898609_0926_13.pdf

View citations for Bigge Crane and Rigging at:
http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/Bigge_Crane_and_Rigging_900571_0926_13.pdf

Vitations for Siemens Power Generation are at:
http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/Siemens_Power_Generation_900545_0926_13.pdf

Citations for Entergy Operations are at:
http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/Entergy_Operations_900604_0926_13.pdf

The companies have 15 business days from receipt of the 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.


Related Past Posts:
OSHA Significabnt Citations - Fatal Trench Collapse
OSHA Significant Citations - CVS Faces Fines
OSHA Significant Citations - Adams Thermal To Pay $1.33 Million



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