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DuraLabel's Weekly Safety News

Blog Author Steve Hudgik

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, December 09, 2013

OSHA Significant Citations - Arizona Issues $559,000 Citation

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



Illinois Central Railroad Cited For Lead Exposure ($110,500)
Long Island, NY - Repeat Fall and Scaffolding Hazards ($460,350)
Arizona State Forestry Division Fined For 19 Hotshot Crew Deaths ($559.000)
Uncorrected and Recurring Hazards Result In Citations ($131,600)


Nate Beal Photo
Illinois Central Railroad Co. has been cited by OSHA for one willful and six serious safety violations with proposed penalties of $110,500. OSHA began its inspection May 29th after it observed workers without the necessary safety and health protection while conducting demolition operations on a bridge that was coated with lead-based paint. The bridge spanned South Lock Street near Archer Avenue in Chicago.

Illinois Central Railroad Co. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Canadian National Railway, headquartered in Montreal. Illinois Central Railroad provides rail service throughout Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota and Canada.

The one willful violation was cited for failing to conduct initial monitoring of employees for lead exposure.

Additionally, six serious violations were cited for:
  • failing to provide appropriate respiratory protection and protective clothing
  • not providing changing areas and storage for street clothes to prevent lead contamination and the transfer of lead from the job site to home
  • lack of hand-washing stations
  • allowing consumption of food and drink in work areas where lead may be present
  • failing to utilize engineering controls, including water misting, long-handled torches and ventilation systems to reduce employees' exposure to lead.
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.

See the citations at:
http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/Illinois_Central_Railroad_Company_908810_1126_13.pdf

Illinois Central Railroad 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.


Painting & Decorating Inc., a Ronkonkoma painting and stucco contractor with a past history of fall protection and scaffold safety violations, faces an additional $460,350 in fines from OSHA following an inspection of a work site at 1900 Northern Blvd. in Manhasset.

"The sizable fines proposed reflect the ongoing failure and refusal by this employer to provide basic safeguards for its employees. Workers have repeatedly been exposed to deadly or disabling falls and crushing injuries,"
said Anthony Ciuffo, OSHA's Long Island area director. "In this case, workers were exposed to falls of more than 26 feet. Falls are the leading cause of death in construction work and can be prevented by adhering to basic, common sense and legally required safeguards."

OSHA began an inspection at the work site on March 31st under its local emphasis program aimed at preventing falls in the construction industry. The inspection identified numerous fall and scaffolding hazards, many of which were similar to those cited during previous OSHA inspections of five other Painting & Decorating work sites during the past several years.

The recurring hazards included:
  • not having the scaffold self-inspected for defects by a competent person during scaffold erection and before workers began to work on the scaffold. An inspection would have identified hazards such as missing cross bracing and planks;
  • no safe means for workers to access the scaffold
  • lack of fall protection for the employees working on the scaffold
  • scaffold not restrained against tipping
  • lack of protective helmets
  • no protection to prevent objects from falling onto workers from the scaffold
These conditions resulted in the issuance of 10 repeat citations with $429,660 in fines. A repeat violation exists when an employer has been cited previously for the same or a similar violation, at any other location in a federal enforcement state within the last five years. Between 2008 and 2010, OSHA cited the company for similar hazards at work sites in Kings Point, Great Neck and Forest Hills.

OSHA's inspectors also identified new hazards, including:
  • a lack of fall protection for workers erecting the scaffolding
  • scaffold erected on unsound footing
  • workers climbing the scaffold's cross bracing during erection
  • lack of eye protection.
These hazards resulted in the issuance of five serious citations with $30,690 in 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.

The citations can be viewed at:
http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/PaintingDecorating909337_112713.pdf.

Due to the nature and severity of violations, Painting & Decorating 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.

OSHA's fall prevention campaign provides employers and workers with lifesaving information and educational materials about working safely from ladders, scaffolds and roofs. It was developed in partnership with the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health and NIOSH's National Occupational Research Agenda program. More information on fall protection standards is available in English and Spanish at:
http://www.osha.gov/stopfalls

Painting & Decorating Inc. has 15 business days from receipt of its latest 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.


Arizona Forestry Division To Be Fined $559K Over Hotshots' Deaths

The Prescott Daily Courier is reporting that The Industrial Commission of Arizona has fined another Arizona state agency, the Arizona State Forestry Division, a total of $559,000, as recommended by the the Arizona Division of Occupational Safety and Health. The fine comes as a result of the June 30 deaths of 19 Granite Mountain Interagency Hotshot Crew members from Prescott.  $25,000 will go to the estates of each of the 19 hotshots who died. Plus there was $84,000 in fines.

The articled in the Daily Courier reported that:

"The employer knew that suppression of extremely active chaparral fuels was ineffective, knew that the active fire was pushing towards non-defensible structures, and knew that employees were working downwind of a rapidly progressing wind driven wildland fire in furtherance of suppression strategies that were implemented to protect structures known to be non-defensible," the document supporting the citations said. Fire managers "failed to re-evaluate, re-prioritize and update suppression efforts and failed to promptly remove employees working downwind of the fire."

Read the complete article here.

This one fine is equal to 64% of all fines issued by the Industrial Commission of Arizona in fiscal year 2013.  Who is the Industrial Commission of Arizona?  What do they do?  They have had a very low profile until now.  A short article in Arizona Central answers these questions and more. Read about the Industrial Commission of Arizona here.


Victor, NY, manufacturing plant failed to correct previously cited hazards

The failure of a Victor-based optical equipment manufacturer to correct serious safety hazards has resulted in $131,600 in additional fines from OSHA.

"Employers must understand that they cannot ignore their responsibility to provide safe working conditions for their employees and to correct hazards when identified. Ignoring OSHA citations means that employees remain at risk of serious injury or even death," said Christopher Adams, OSHA's area director in Syracuse. "These large, additional fines are the direct result of this employer's lack of action."

OSHA first cited Wordingham Machine Co. in March for seven violations of workplace safety standards at the company's 580 Fishers Station Drive manufacturing plant. OSHA proposed $16,100 in fines for those violations. OSHA began a follow-up inspection in June after the company failed to respond to the citations or submit proof that it had corrected the cited hazards.

The follow-up inspection found that six specific hazards remained uncorrected. These include:
  • unguarded moving machine parts
  • no procedures to prevent the unintended startup of machinery during maintenance
  • unapproved use of electrical equipment
  • excess pressure for a compressed air hose used for cleaning
  • not providing workers with fire extinguisher training
These conditions resulted in OSHA issuing six failure-to-abate notifications to Wordingham, with $126,000 in fines. OSHA also issued a repeat citation, carrying a $5,600 fine, for a locked exit door, a condition similar to one that had been cited in the previous inspection.

A failure-to-abate notice applies to a condition, hazard or practice for which the employer was originally cited and, upon reinspection, was found uncorrected. 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 citations can be viewed at:
http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/Wordingham_Machine_Company_Wordingham_Technologies_870745_12_3_2013.pdf
http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/Wordingham_Machine_Company_Wordingham_Technologies_910158_12_3_2013.pdf

Wordingham Machine 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:
Previous Week's Significant Citations
Over $556,000 In Citations Announced Last Week
Contractors Cited For Building Collapse

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posted by Steve Hudgik
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