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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, December 16, 2013

OSHA Significant Citations - Over $751,000 In Penalties

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.



Rail Car Services Faces Penalties For Repeat Violations ($133,000)
OSHA cites Arlington Metals Corp. For 38 Violations ($117,000)
Williams Olefins Explosion Killed 2 And injured 80 ($99,000)
Plantsville, CT, Automotive Metal Forging Company Cited ($112,068)
Piping Technology & Products Cited, Worker Struck By Machine Part ($185,500)
The Gilman Brothers Co. Cited For Repeat and Serious Hazards ($105,490)


Rail Car Services LLC has been cited by OSHA for 11 safety and health violations, including eight repeat, at its Kansas City rail car refurbishing facility. An inspection began following a complaint about previously cited violations that resurfaced and involved fall protection and permit-required confined space hazards. OSHA has proposed penalties of $133,000.

"Confined spaces can potentially contain hazardous atmospheres. In this case, the employer failed to implement all aspects of a confined space program, including training its workers," said Judy Freeman, OSHA's area director in Wichita. "Rail Car Services failed to correct serious safety and health violations, exposing workers to falls and atmospheric hazards. Employers that provide certificates of abatement, and then are subsequently cited for repeat violations, demonstrate a lack of commitment to workplace safety and health."

Rail Car Services refurbishes rail cars including hopper-style cars. The rail cars are entered through top access doors and workers, once inside, perform sandblasting of walls, relining and general maintenance.

During the inspection, OSHA found that hazards cited in 2012 were inadequately addressed, or the company did not completely abate the safety and health issues. As a result, eight repeat violations were cited. 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 repeat violations involved
failing to ensure fall protection systems covered areas where rail car work was conducted and workers were vulnerable to fall exposure. OSHA's investigation found a fall protection system had been installed, but was inadequate to cover the number of workers exposed, and the company did not require usage of the present fall protection system. Rail Car Services also failed to train workers on chemicals used in their work area and did not provide annual respirator training.

Five of the repeat citations involved OSHA's permit-required confined space program, including failing to:
  • evaluate work spaces, such as hopper cars, for confined space requirements and atmospheric conditions
  • inform exposed workers of the existence and location of confined spaces
  • use entry permits
  • provide training to workers
OSHA's permit-required confined space standard establishes procedures to protect workers who must enter, work in or exit spaces with configurations that hinder their activities. In addition, the configurations of such spaces may increase workers' exposure to hazards, such as entrapment, engulfment and/or hazardous atmospheric conditions, which can lead to serious physical injury, illness or death. For more information see: https://www.osha.gov/doc/outreachtraining/htmlfiles/cspace.html.

Two serious violations involve failing to evaluate workers medically for respirator usage and to prevent the use of compressed breathing air that was not of the proper grade. An OSHA violation is serious if death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard an employer knew or should have known existed.

The citations can be viewed at:
http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/Rail_Car_910605_1204_13.pdf
http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/Rail_Car_910602_1204_13.pdf

Rail Car Services has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.


Arlington Metals Corp. has been cited by OSHA for 38 safety and health violations, which carry proposed penalties of $117,000. OSHA initiated a safety and health investigation in June in response to a complaint filed by the United Steel Workers Union alleging unsafe working conditions at the Franklin Park metal strip and coil processing facility. Violations include lack of a respiratory protection program, multiple instances of inadequate machine guarding and unsafe electrical work practices.

A total of 17 serious violations, carrying proposed penalties of $88,200, were cited Dec. 5th. They involved failing to:
  • provide machine guarding on slitters and radial arm saws
  • complete periodic inspections of overhead cranes within the past 12 months
  • provide guardrails and energy control procedures
  • to provide covers on live electrical transformers
  • prevent use of extension cords when fixed wiring is required
  • provide electrical protective equipment, such as gloves, fire-retardant- rated clothing and eye and face protection
  • evaluate and determine whether any of the five production pits were permit-required confined spaces
Twelve other-than-serious violations involved failing to:
  • conduct personal protective equipment assessments
  • provide a written emergency evacuation plan
  • post load rating signs
  • maintain records of crane and rope inspections
  • train workers on energy control procedures
  • have good housekeeping practices. Wood dust was allowed to accumulate and create a fire hazard
OSHA issued several citations in August and October, carrying proposed fines of $28,800, as part of the concurrent safety and health investigation. In August, OSHA cited three serious violations for lack of fire protection training; lockout/tagout procedures to control the unexpected operation of equipment during service and maintenance; and guarding against immovable fire hazards during welding operations. In October, the company received five serious citations for modifying a powered industrial truck without written permission from the manufacturer, and for failing to develop a written respiratory protection program, including medical evaluation, training and fit testing workers for proper respiratory equipment.'

Additionally, one-other-than serious violation cited in October involved lack of effective hazard communication training.

The citations may be viewed at:
http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/Arlington_Metals_Corporation_910411_12052013.pdf
http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/Arlington_Metals_Corporation_910398_12052013.pdf

Arlington Metals Corp., which employs approximately 110 workers, has 15 business 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 Review Commission.


Williams Olefins LLC in Geismar, LA, was cited for six process safety management standard violations, including one willful, by OSHA after an explosion in June killed two workers and injured 80 people. Process safety management encompasses a detailed set of requirements and procedures employers must follow to address hazards proactively that are associated with processes and equipment that use large amounts of hazardous chemicals. In this case, it was the use of propylene.

One willful violation was cited for failing to develop clear, written procedures for how to change and put idle pressure vessels into service.

The five serious violations included:
  • inadvertently mixing hot quench water with propylene
  • failing to provide appropriate pressure protection for a pressure vessel
  • failure to complete a process hazard analysis to address the opening of hot quench water flow into a pressure vessel
  • not properly documenting workplace training
  • not promptly correcting deficiencies related to process safety management discovered by an internal compliance audit team.
Williams Olefins is a subsidiary of Williams Partners LP, which is headquartered in Tulsa, Okla., and employs about 4,700 workers corporatewide. The Geismar location employs about 127 workers and specializes in the production of natural gas, ethylene and propylene.

Proposed penalties total $99,000. The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's Baton Rouge area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.


Citations issued for repeat and serious safety and health violations. The JJ Ryan Corp. Rex Forge Division faces $112,068 in proposed fines.

OSHA has cited The JJ Ryan Corp. Rex Forge Division, a Plantsville-based metal forging company, for five repeat and 16 serious safety and health violations. OSHA's Hartford Area Office began inspecting the work site in May as part of the agency's Site-Specific Targeting program.

The safety inspection resulted in citations for two repeat violations that carry a $10,098 fine; 12 serious violations carry a $59,400 fine. The health inspection resulted in citations for three repeat violations with a $23,760 fine and four serious violations with an $18,810 fine.

In the safety inspection, two repeat safety violations involved using an extension cord instead of the proper fixed wiring and using damaged electrical cords. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years.

The serious safety violations included:
  • fall hazards
  • electrical hazards
  • lack of adequate training
  • lack of safe work procedures to protect workers on or near energized electrical equipment
  • failure to inspect and properly tag chain slings used to lift forging dies
  • failure to ensure blades on a fan had adequate guarding to protect workers from injury.
In the health inspection, the repeat health violations involved
  • failing to have a written hazard communication program available for workers
  • failure to use tongue guards properly on machinery.
The serious health violations included failing to:
  • train workers properly on how to avoid hearing loss
  • ensure the use of noncombustible or flameproof screens to protect workers engaged in welding operations from exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the generated electric arc.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of its failure-to-abate notices, 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. The citations can be viewed at:
http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/JJRyanRexForge_941230_1126_13.pdf
http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/JJRyanRexForge_910128_1126_13.pdf


OSHA has cited Piping Technology and Products Inc. in Houston for four repeat and three serious violations after a worker was injured in June from being struck by a broken die piece on a mechanical press. Proposed penalties total $199,800.

The repeat violations, with a penalty of $185,500, were cited for failing to:
  • guard punch presses and band saws
  • provide lockout/tagout training regarding energized sources
  • conduct an annual review of lockout/tagout procedures.
A repeat violation exists when an employer has been previously 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. The company was previously cited for similar violations in 2011.

The serious violations, with a penalty of $14,300, were cited for failing to:
  • secure a fuel gas cylinder
  • use undamaged slings for lifting and moving equipment
  • provide strain relief for electrical wiring
Piping Technology employs about 700 workers and manufactures pipe supports, clamps and expansion joints for chemical and oil refineries. Twice inspected in 2011, the company was cited for 42 safety and health violations, including failing to guard the point of operations on band saws, shears and press brakes. The company already has been inspected three times in 2013, independent of the current case, and cited for willful and two serious violations including failing to provide machine guarding on two separate occasions and provide abatement documentation. All 2013 citations have been contested while the 2011 cases are settled.

Copies of OSHA citations can be viewed here:
http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/PTP_Citations_2013-912755.pdf

For more information on lockout/tagout, go to:
http://www.osha.gov/dts/osta/lototraining/index.html

For information on machine guarding, go to:
http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/machineguarding/index.html

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's Houston South area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.


OSHA has cited The Gilman Brothers Co., in Gilman, CT, for willful, repeat and serious safety violations at the company's facility. The manufacturer of polystyrene foam core board faces a total of $105,490 in proposed penalties following two inspections by OSHA's Hartford Area Office.

The first inspection, begun on May 31, identified several deficiencies in the plant's process safety management program involving the chemical isopentane, a flammable liquid used in the manufacturing process.

OSHA found that the company did not inspect or test process equipment, including the isopentane tank, piping and pressure relief valves. This resulted in the issuance of one willful citation, with a $53,900 fine. 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.

One repeat citation, with a fine of $10,780, was issued for a lack of written procedures to maintain the ongoing integrity of process equipment. A similar hazard was cited in 2009.

Six serious citations, with $26,180 in fines, were issued for:
incomplete process safety information, hazard analyses and documentation
lack of readily available fire extinguishers and fire extinguisher training

The second inspection opened Sept. 4 following an incident in which a forklift operator struck and injured a pedestrian in a company warehouse. The company failed to ensure forklift operators:
  • look in the direction of travel
  • maintain a clear view of the travel path
  • slow down and sound their horns at cross aisles.
In addition:
  • forklifts were not properly marked to identify attachments and their lifting capacity
  • forklifts were not examined for defects after each shift
  • aisles and passageways were not kept clear and in good repair
These conditions resulted in the issuance of four serious citations with $14,630 in fines.

The citations can be viewed at:
http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/GilmanBrothersCompany_909370_1127_13.pdf
http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/GilmanBrothersCompany_936863_1127_13.pdf

Detailed information on OSHA's process safety management standard is available at:
http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/processsafetymanagement/index.html

Information on forklift safety is available at:
http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/poweredindustrialtrucks/index.html

The Gilman Brothers Co. has 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:
Arizona Issues $559,000 Citation
Previous Week's Significant Citations
Over $556,000 In Citations Announced Last Week

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