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, November 18, 2013

OSHA Cites Contractors For Building Collapse That Killed Six and Injured 14 People

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.

White Cedar Shingles, Superior, WI, Cited After Fatal Injury ($156,240)
Selfridge Air National Guard Base Cited For 8 Violations (No Fine)
Trinity Yachts cited For Repeat and Serious Violations ($177,100)
Demolition Contractors Cited After Building Collapse Kills Six ($397,000)

White Cedar Shingles Inc. in Superior, Wisconsin, has been cited for nine safety violations by OSHA after a worker was fatally injured on May 21st while servicing machinery that had not been locked out to prevent unexpected startup. As a result of the inspection, OSHA has placed the company in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program.

Two willful violations were cited for failing to train workers authorized to perform servicing on equipment in hazardous energy control procedures and to control electrical energy sources by installing lockout/tagout devices during maintenance and cleaning of machinery. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for, or plain indifference to, employee safety and health.

Five serious violations involved failing to:
  • have guarding on power transmission flywheels and the power transmission belt on the edger
  • address a waste conveyer belt with visible damage on the belt edge
  • train and evaluate forklift operators
  • address a damaged electrical control button on the mill
  • identify disconnecting means for a mill and saw equipment
  • close unused openings on boxes, cabinets and fittings effectively
  • install faceplates and covers on electrical boxes.
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.

Two other-than-serious violations involve failing to install a midrail on a stairway and on a platform in the material area. 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.

Proposed fines total $156,240.The current citations may be viewed at:

Due to the nature and severity of violations, the company 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.

White Cedar Shingles Inc. is a milling company that manufactures cedar shingles and boards. It employs approximately 10 workers. Inspections of the facility in 2010, 2011 and 2012 have led to 10 violations, which include citations from 2012 for the lack of a lockout/tagout program and workers' training on the control of hazardous energy.

The company has 15 days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, ask for an informal conference with the OSHA area director, or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health.

Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Harrison Township, MI, has been issued eight notices of unsafe or unhealthful working conditions by OSHA, including a repeat amputation hazard violation. The inspection was conducted in accordance with the Federal Agency Local Emphasis Program. Selfridge Air National Guard Base is home to the Michigan Air National Guard.

The one repeat violation involved inadequate machine guarding to protect workers from amputation and other machinery hazards. The same violation was noted in January 2013 at Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska.

A total of five serious violations were noted that involved failing to:
  • conduct annual periodic inspections of energy control procedures
  • develop specific procedures to control hazardous energy
  • provide workers with training on the energy control program
  • guard point of operation on machinery
  • post signage about the hazards posed by permit-required confined spaces
Two other-than-serious violations involved failing to:
  • certify the completion of a written personal protective equipment hazard assessment
  • properly maintain injury and illness logs
As required by the Occupational Safety and Health Act, federal agencies must comply with the same safety standards as private sector employers. The federal agency equivalent to a private sector citation is the Notice of Unsafe or Unhealthful Working Conditions. A notice is used to inform establishment officials of violations of OSHA standards and regulations. OSHA cannot propose monetary penalties against another federal agency for failure to comply with OSHA standards.

Selfridge Air National Guard Base employs 790 personnel and is located near Mount Clemens. The facility has 15 business days from receipt of the notices to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or appeal the notices by submitting a summary of the agency's position on the unresolved issues to OSHA's regional administrator.

OSHA has cited Trinity Yachts LLC (Gulfport, MS) with four repeat, 14 serious and two other-than-serious safety and health violations. The May 2013 inspection was a result of a complaint OSHA received about the shipbuilding facility in Gulfport. Proposed penalties total $177,100.

"Trinity Yachts LLC has an extensive inspection history, has had ample opportunity to address violations, yet chooses to neglect the safety and health of its workplace," said Clyde Payne, OSHA's area director in Jackson.

The repeat violations, with $115,500 in penalties, involved the employer failing to:
  • maintain dry floors
  • to replace welding cords with exposed conductors
  • provide guards or covers for open hatches
  • provide guardrails on the open sides of the deck.
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 facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. The company received citations for similar violations in 2010 and 2011 at the same facility.

The serious violations, with $61,600 in penalties, included the employer failing to:
  • legibly mark circuit breakers
  • guard live, 120-volt electrical parts from accidental contact
  • close unused openings in electrical boxes
  • prevent flexible hoses from being submerged in water
  • elevate hoses and cords above decks and hallways
  • tag slings with the manufacturer's recommended safe working loads
  • prevent loads from being suspended over the heads of workers
  • provide safe access to mobile scaffolding
  • repair the travel alarm on a gantry crane
  • dry and test welding machines after a rainstorm
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 other-than-serious violations, with no monetary penalties, involved the employer's failure to affix a clearly legible rating load on the side of the gantry crane and failure to provide screens to protect workers adjacent to the welding areas.

Citations can be viewed at:

The company, which designs and constructs offshore vessels, commercial tugs and patrol crafts, has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director in Jackson, or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Contractors removed support for wall that collapsed onto the Salvation Army store killing six and injuring 14.

OSHA has cited Griffin Campbell, doing business as Campbell Construction, and Sean Benschop, doing business as S&R Contracting, for safety violations, including three willfual per-instance violations, following the June 5, 2013, building collapse that killed six people and injured 14. Campbell Construction was demolishing the four-story building known as the "Hoagie City" building adjacent to a Salvation Army Thrift Store, located in the 2100 block of Market Street in Philadelphia. S&R Contracting was operating the building's interior walls and floors.

Sean Benschop, owner of S&R Contracting, has been charged with six counts of involuntary manslaughter and is in prison awaiting trial.

Read more about this story in Pilly.com

"Campbell Construction and S&R Contracting sacrificed worker and public safety through the deliberate neglect of demolition safety fundamentals," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels.

On the three days leading up to the collapse, Campbell Construction removed critical, structural supports for the wall that collapsed. The OSHA demolition standards prohibit the removal of lateral support walls more than one story high, leaving the wall unsupported. Campbell Construction also removed parts of the lower floors prior to the removal of the upper floors, again, contrary to the OSHA standards. Campbell Construction also failed to provide an engineering survey as promised. As a result, Campbell Construction has been cited for three willful, egregious violations for each day that it left the wall without sufficient lateral support, and two willful violations alleging the failures to demolish the building from the top down and to have an engineering survey by a competent person on the possibility of collapse prior to starting the demolition.

S&R Contracting has been cited for one willful violation. 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.

Campbell Construction was cited for serious violations for the company's failure to:
  • provide employees with hard hats when there was a possible risk of head injury
  • provide fall protection for employees working on surfaces at least six feet high
  • provide training on fall hazards
  • provide adequate personal fall arrest systems
  • inspect all stairs periodically
  • maintain stairs a clean and safe condition
S&R Contracting was cited for two serious violations for failing to protect employees from falling through holes and to provide fall hazard training.

The citations can be viewed here:

OSHA proposed penalties are $313,000 for Campbell Construction and $84,000 for S&R Contracting. Both companies have 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with the OSHA area director in Philadelphia, or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Related Past Posts:
NH Contractor Faces $115,000 In Fines
No Significant Citations Last Week
OSHA Significant Citations

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posted by Steve Hudgik
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