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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.


Monday, October 28, 2013

Contractors Building Power Plant Receive Citations Totalling $280,880

OSHA Significant Citations Announced Last Week

OSHA defines a significant citation as one with more than $100,000 in proposed fines. The following are the citations OSHA announced last week that have total fines greater than $100,000.



NJ Concrete Company Cited For Willful and Serious Hazards ($153,900)
Contractors Building A Power Plant In Berlin, NH Cited ($280,880)
NJ Steel Company Cited For Failing To Abate Workplace Hazards ($115,400)


OSHA cited County Concrete Corp. for 18 alleged safety and health violations - including one classified as willful - found at the company's East Orange, New Jersey facility.  OSHA's April investigation was initiated in response to a complaint alleging hazards related to silica, respirators, dust and noise. Proposed penalties total $153,900.

The willful violation, with a $63,000 penalty, was due to the lack of an established lockout/tagout program, which prevents inadvertent machine start-ups, and the lack of equipment-specific procedures developed. 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.

Sixteen serious violations, carrying a $90,900 penalty, included the company's failure to:
  • to evaluate the workplace for permit-required confined spaces
  • inform employees of the existence, location and dangers of permit-required confined spaces
  • develop and implement a permit-required confined space program or written hazard communication program
  • conduct periodic inspections of and provide employee training on energy control procedures
  • develop and implement a monitoring program, establish and maintain an audiometric testing program, and provide training, for employees whose exposure exceeded the 8-hour time weighted average of 85 decibels
  • establish a written respiratory protection program
  • identify and evaluate the respiratory hazards in the workplace
  • provide a medical evaluation to determine the employee's ability to use a respirator
  • ensure that employees using tight fitting face piece respirators were fit tested prior to use and received effective training
  • properly store respirators
  • determine and implement administrative or engineering controls whenever feasible
  • provide effective information and training on hazardous chemicals in their work area
  • ensure employee's exposure to silica, in any 8-hour work shift of a 40-hour work week, did not exceed the 8-hour time weighted average limit.
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.

One other-than-serious violation was also found because the employer did not provide Appendix D of the respiratory protection standard to workers wearing respirator protection. This citation carries no penalty. 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 citations can be viewed at:
http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/CountyConcrete_900137_0930_13.pdf and
http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/CountyConcrete_899238_0930_13.pdf

County Concrete Corp. has 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.


OSHA has cited the general contractor and five subcontractors working on the construction of the Berlin Power Plant in Berlin for 31 willful, serious and repeat violations of workplace safety standards. The employers face a combined $280,880 in proposed fines following inspections by OSHA's Concord Area Office, which started in March in response to complaints.

Project general contractor Babcock & Wilcox Construction Co. Inc., of Barberton, Ohio, faces a total of $116,280 in proposed fines. OSHA issued the company 14 serious citations, with $66,600 in fines, for:
  • assembling and using cranes on unstable ground
  • a 100-foot fall hazard through an unguarded wall opening
  • failing to train workers adequately to install fall protection systems
  • allowing workers to be close to an energized electrical panel, therefore exposing them to arc flash and blast hazards
  • uncovered and unlabeled floor holes
  • not performing air monitoring and determining lead exposure levels when removing lead-containing paint
  • not keeping work areas clear of debris
  • defective rigging equipment
  • unguarded grinders
The company was also issued one willful citation, with a $49,500 fine, for allowing a worker to wear a tight-fitting respirator over facial hair while the worker removed lead-containing paint. Facial hair can encumber a respirator from being properly sealed, thus exposing the worker to lead inhalation.

Babcock & Wilcox Construction Co. also received one repeat other-than-serious citation, with a $180 fine, for torn welding curtains. OSHA had cited the company in April 2010 for a similar hazard at a Hastings, Neb., work site.

Mascaro Construction Co. LP, of Pittsburgh, which performed excavation and utilities work, and installed concrete foundations, faces a total of $85,000 in fines. It was issued one willful citation, with a $70,000 fine, for having workers in two excavations that lacked cave-in protection. Three serious citations were also issued, with $15,000 in fines. They involved:
  • failing to protect workers against loose rocks falling into the excavation hole
  • using a closed stepladder to access a trench box
  • not providing cave-in protection for workers in front of a 6-foot-deep excavation
Mardo Masonry, of Mt. Morris, Penn., which performed masonry work, faces a total of $56,000 in fines. It was issued a willful citation, with a $44,000 fine, forexposing workers to scaffold collapses due to an inadequately braced scaffold. Three serious citations, with $12,000 in fines, involved:
  • overloaded outriggers
  • storing excess supplies on scaffolding
  • lack of toeboards on scaffolding
Northeast Utilities Enterprises Inc., doing business as E.S. Boulos Co., of Lewiston, Maine, an electrical contractor that installed the primary electrical wiring and transmission lines, was issued one serious citation with a $5,000 fine, for exposed live electrical wiring, unlabeled electrical panels and not closing unused electrical cabinet openings effectively.

Vaillancourt Electrical Service of Berlin, which installed and maintained temporary power throughout the job site, was issued five serious citations, with $11,600 in fines which included citations for:
  • allowing workers to be close to an energized 480-volt electrical panel, which exposed workers to arc flash and blast hazards
  • not ensuring the use of personal protective equipment
  • overlooking deficiencies involving temporary lighting, electrical cords and a panel
  • not guarding an energized electrical panel from water
Virginia Transformer Corp., of Roanoke, Va., which furnished and installed the main power transformer, was issued one serious citation, with a $7,000 fine, for allowing workers to be close to an energized electrical panel.

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

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. 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.

Each employer 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 cited Jersey Shore Steel (JACKSON, NJ) for four violations, including three failure-to-abate citations. The proposed penalties total $115,400 after OSHA's follow-up inspection opened in April.

"By not abating past violations, Jersey Shore Steel keeps its employees vulnerable to hazards that can cause injuries and, possibly, death," said Paula Dixon-Roderick, director of OSHA's Marlton Area Office. "It's vital to correct all hazards immediately to protect workers at the facility."

The failure-to-abate notices, which carry $111,000 in penalties, relate to the company's failure to:
  • develop and implement a written lockout/tagout program that prevents inadvertent machine start-up
  • require fork truck operators to have their performance evaluated at least once every three years
  • train workers to use portable fire extinguishers
A failure-to-abate notice applies to a condition, hazard or practice, found upon re-inspection, that the employer was originally cited for and failed to correct.

The company was also cited for one repeat violation, with a $4,400 penalty, due to the lack of machine guarding on a press brake. 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. A similar violation was cited in November 2012.

The citations can be viewed at:
http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/jersey_shore_steel_insp_900106_sept30.pdf.

Jersey Shore Steel has requested an informal conference with the OSHA area director in Marlton.


Related Past Posts:
OSHA Significant Citations
West Fertilizer Cited
Testori Interiors Cited For 24 Safety Violations

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