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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, November 25, 2013

Significant Citations: Over $556,800 In OSHA Fines

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.



Big Lots Stores Cited For Exit Route & Stacking Hazards ($169,000)
OSHA cites Tyson Foods At Buffalo, NY, Plant ($121,720)
Affordable Roofing and Exteriors Cited For Fall Hazards ($158,015)
Ferdo Refrigeration Fails To Correct Previously Cited Hazards ($108,080)


OSHA has cited Big Lots Stores Inc. for repeat and serious violations of workplace safety standards following an inspection begun on May 15 in response to a complaint about its 501 Montauk Ave. store in West Babylon, NY. The Columbus, Ohio, retail chain faces $169,000 in proposed fines.

"The size of these fines reflects both the severity of these hazards and the recurrence of similar violations at the company's other stores," said Anthony Ciuffo, OSHA's area director for Long Island. "For the safety and well-being of its employees, Big Lots needs to address these conditions effectively at all its locations."

OSHA found several hazardous conditions similar to those previously cited at Big Lots stores in Alabama, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, including exit routes and aisles blocked by piles and pallets of merchandise, as well as improperly stacked boxes containing merchandise. The obstructed aisles and exit routes compromise safe exiting in an emergency, while the improperly stacked boxes, some of which were crushed and leaning, could fall and strike workers.

These conditions resulted in OSHA issuing Big Lots three repeat citations with $147,000 in fines. A repeat violation exists when an employer has been cited previously for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any of its facilities in federal enforcement states within the last five years.

The inspection of the West Babylon store also resulted in the issuance of five serious citations with $22,000 in fines. These citations regard the store's:
  • failure to properly mark and post aisles
  • exit routes and doors that could be mistaken for exits
  • lack of portable fire extinguisher training
  • lack of training, material safety data sheets and a written hazard communication program for workers using chemical cleansers.

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/BigLots906749111513.pdf

Big Lots Stores Inc. has 15 business days from receipt of its 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.


Arkansas-based meat processor previously cited for similar hazards in three other states.

OSHA has cited Tyson Foods Inc. for repeat and serious violations of workplace safety standards following an inspection at its Buffalo manufacturing plant. The processor and marketer of chicken, beef, and pork faces a total of $121,720 in proposed fines. The inspection, which began on May 15, was conducted under OSHA's Site Specific Targeting Program, which directs enforcement resources to high-hazard workplaces with the highest rates of injuries and illnesses.

OSHA found a number of mechanical, electrical and fall hazards, as well as several deficiencies in the plant's process safety management program for its refrigeration system that uses large amounts of ammonia. The hazards include failing to:
  • guard skylights and roof hatchway
  • guard a press
  • provide safety-related work practices to prevent electric shock and arc flash burns
  • provide workers with protective equipment when using energized equipment
These conditions resulted in the issuance of 11 serious citations with $61,000 in fines.

The inspection also identified three hazards similar to those cited in Hutchinson, Kan.; Concordia, Mo.; and Dakota City, Neb. These recurring hazards involved failing to:
  • document that refrigeration equipment complied with generally accepted good engineering practices
  • guard floor holes
  • maintain a sufficient work space in front of electrical equipment
These three repeat citations were issued with $60,720 in fines.

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

Arkansas-based Tyson Foods has 15 business days from receipt of its 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.


Affordable Roofing and Exteriors Inc. (Trenton, IL) has been cited by OSHA for five safety violations, carrying proposed penalties of $158,015, following inspections at three job sites where workers were improperly using fall protection during the installation of shingles on residential roofs. Since 2009, the Trenton-based company has been cited in five inspections for similar violations.

"It's unacceptable that Affordable Roofing and Exteriors repeatedly fails in its responsibility to ensure that workers use fall protection," said Karl Armstrong, OSHA's assistant area director in Fairview Heights. "Falls remain the leading cause of death in the construction industry, and companies must implement safeguards and create a culture of safety."

Residential job sites were inspected on July 15 in the 1400 block of Nameoki Road in Granite City. On June 27, an inspection took place in the 700 block of Lebanon Avenue in Belleville. On May 16, an inspection occurred in the 200 block of Dodge in Belleville.

At each job site, a willful violation was cited for failing to ensure workers used fall protection while performing residential roofing. The inspections were initiated under the national emphasis program for fall safety. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirement, or with plain indifference to employee safety and health.

Two serious violations were cited at the Belleville job site for failing to provide eye protection to workers who used pneumatic nail guns and provide a ladder to access upper landings safely. 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.

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. OSHA standards require that an effective form of fall protection, such as guardrails, safety nets or personal fall arrest systems, be in use when workers perform construction activities 6 feet or more above the next lower level.

To view the current citations see:
http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/AffordableRoofingandExteriorsInc_915143_1114_13.pdf
http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/AffordableRoofingandExteriorsInc_907102_1114_13.pdf
http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/AffordableRoofingandExteriorsInc_920930_1114_13.pdf

Affordable Roofing and Exteriors has 15 business days from receipt of its 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.

Photo From Facebook
Ferdo Refrigeration Equipment Inc. of Tarrytown, NY was first cited in April 2013.

Ferdo Refrigeration Equipment Inc., a Bronx, N.Y., company that refurbishes commercial refrigerators, faces an additional $108,080 in fines from OSHA, chiefly for not correcting specific workplace safety and health hazards cited during previous inspections at the workplace located at 429 Devoe Ave.

"Employees continued to be exposed to fire, explosion, falls and chemical hazards and to being unable to exit the workplace swiftly in an emergency,"
said Diana Cortez, OSHA's area director for Bronx, Westchester and Rockland counties. "The large, additional proposed fines stem directly from this employer's refusal to address these potentially life-threatening hazards. Employers must understand that ignoring OSHA citations and fines carries consequences, even beyond finances. The health and well-being of their employees are at stake."

OSHA's Tarrytown Area Office cited the company in April 2013 for 15 serious safety and health violations and proposed $16,447 in fines. Ferdo Refrigeration Equipment did not respond to the citations and to OSHA's repeat attempts to contact the company to verify correction of hazards. As a result, OSHA opened a follow-up inspection in May.

The eight uncorrected hazards included failing to:
  • provide a guardrail to prevent falls from an open-sided floor
  • ensure an exit did not discharge to a public way
  • mark emergency exits
  • provide explosion-proof wiring and equipment for areas where flammable gases or vapors are present
  • develop a written chemical hazard communication program
  • provide training and safety data sheets for hazardous chemicals used in the workplace.
Eight failure-to-abate notices, carrying $80,080 in fines, were issued for these conditions. A failure-to-abate notice applies to a condition, hazard or practice for which the employer was originally cited, and upon reinspection, was found to have not corrected.

Three repeat citations, with $8,800 in fines, involved failing to:
  • ensure to keep an exit route unobstructed
  • maintain walls and work surfaces free of combustible residue accumulation
  • provide respirator users with information and medical evaluations
Twelve serious citations, with $19,200 in fines, were issued for newly identified hazards. These included failing to:
  • provide chemical-resistant coveralls, gloves, protective eyewear and suitable drenching facilities for workers exposed to methylene chloride, paint overspray or corrosive liquids
  • monitor for methylene chloride
  • have fire extinguishers where flammable liquids are sprayed
  • secure compressed gas cylinders
  • provide protective footwear
  • address forklift, machine guarding and electrical hazards
The citations and failure-to-abate notices can be viewed at:
http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/FERDO_safety.pdf
http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/FERDO_health.pdf

Ferdo Refrigeration Equipment has 15 business days from receipt of its latest 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.


Related Past Posts:
Contractors Cited For Building Collapse
NH Contractor Faces $115,000 In Fines
No Significant Citations Last Week

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