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, March 31, 2014

OSHA Significant Citations

OSHA defines a significant citation as one with more than $100,000 in proposed fines. An OSHA citation is a claim by OSHA that there has been a safety violation. It does not mean a violation has taken place, nor that the violation is as severe as claimed. The company has 15 days to contest OSHA claims. The following are the citations OSHA announced last week that have total fines of $100,000 or more.

OSHA Cites Two Ohio Companies For Lead Exposure ($119,000 & $49,600)

Durable Slate Co. and Spectrum Painting, cited by OSHA for exposing workers to dangerous levels of lead.

The exposure resulted from restoration work on an historical building in Lima, Ohio. Citations were also issued for fall hazards. The proposed penalties total $119,000 and $49,600, respectively.

OSHA initiated an inspection of both companies in September 2013 after receiving a referral from a health care provider, which found high levels of lead in blood samples from employees of both companies. The employees were removing lead-based paint from the exterior of an historic home. Lead exposure can cause fatigue, nausea and long-term damage to the central nervous system.

"Lead overexposure is a leading cause of serious workplace illness," said Kim Nelson, OSHA's area director in Toledo. "Compliance with OSHA's standards will protect workers by minimizing their exposure to lead. Companies that specialize in this work must have an effective program to ensure the safety and health of their workers."

Columbus-based Durable Slate Co., which operates as Durable Restoration, was cited for one willful violation for failing to conduct initial exposure monitoring to determine if employees were exposed to lead above the permissible level when scraping lead-based paint. 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.

Durable Slate was also issued seven serious violations, five of which were violations of OSHA's lead exposure standards. The violations including failure to:
  • ensure workers wore protective clothing
  • train workers on lead hazards
  • provide changing areas and adequate hand-washing stations
  • implement a written lead compliance program
  • develop a respiratory protection program
  • provide fall protection for employees that were working at heights of approximately 13 feet.
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 be in use when workers perform construction activities 6 feet or more above the next lower level.

Spectrum Painting, based in Bellefontaine, was cited for two willful and eight serious violations.

Two willful violations were cited for failing to provide respiratory protection and personal protective clothing as interim protection before an initial lead exposure assessment was conducted.

Spectrum Painting's eight serious violations included five for violations of OSHA's lead exposure standards, including failing to:
  • conduct initial medical surveillance
  • develop and implement a written lead compliance program
  • provide changing areas and adequate hand-washing stations
  • failing to develop a written hazard communication program
  • provide fall protection and improper use of ladders.
The current citations can be viewed at:

Both companies have 15 business days from receipt of their 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.

Other OSHA Citations Announced Last Week

Atlantic Coast Asphalt Cited Following Worker Becoming Trapped In Hot Liquid Asphalt

An employee of Atlantic Coast Asphalt, a part of Hubbard Construction Co., entered a hot liquid asphalt tank to cut out a section of piping when he became trapped by the hot tar. The accident happened  at the company's plant in Jacksonville, Florida.

The employee suffered severe burns to his legs and feet following an 8-hour rescue. As a result of the September 2013 incident, OSHA cited the company with ten serious safety and health violations, carrying proposed penalties of $63,360.

"This incident could have been prevented if the employer followed OSHA's standards for lockout/tagout and permit-required confined space procedures," said Brian Sturtecky, OSHA's area director in Jacksonville. "When employers take short-cuts related to safety and health they are gambling with employees' lives."

The citations were issued for the employer's failure to:
  • follow permit-required confined space entry requirements.
  • follow lockout/tagout procedures to ensure all hazards were identified, documented, measured and controls put in place prior to the employee entering the space. 
  • protect workers exposed to entrapment, thermal and chemical burn hazards. 
Atlantic Coast Asphalt manufactures and distributes hot-mix asphalt to various residential and commercial customers. The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request a conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety & Health Review Commission.

According to Bureau of Labor Statistics preliminary data from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, fatal work injuries in Florida accounted for 209 of the 4,383 fatal work injuries reported in 2012. Additional details are available at http://bls.gov/iif/home.htm.

Diversified CPC International Inc. Cited For Chemical Hazards

Diversified CPC International Inc. has been cited by OSHA for 15 serious violations of the process safety management standard at the chemical manufacturer's Sparta production facility. The August 2013 inspection was initiated under OSHA's Process Safety Management Covered Chemical Facilities National Emphasis Program. The company, based in Channahon, Ill., faces $73,500 in proposed penalties for exposing workers to hazardous chemical risks.

Under OSHA's process safety management standard, employers are required to develop, implement and update process safety management programs for hazardous chemicals at their facilities. In this case, the majority of violations relate to potential hazards at this company's facility stemming from the use of liquefied petroleum gases, fluorocarbons and dimethyl ether.

The serious violations include the company's failure to:
  • Develop and implement written procedures for mechanical integrity and operating procedures to conduct activities in each covered process safely.
  • Complete a thorough process hazard analysis and emergency action plan.
  • Document that equipment met good engineering practice.
  • Follow good engineering practices when performing inspections and testing equipment.
  • Complete an adequate compliance audit.
  • Conduct inspections and tests on equipment.
  • Annually certify that operating procedures were current and accurate. 
  • Establish and implement a system to address previous hazard analysis findings promptly.
  • Address the impact of changes to processes, equipment, and/or personnel that are related to working conditions covered by the process safety management standard.
  • Complete accurate piping and instrument diagrams.
  • Include relief system design and design basis in information pertaining to the equipment.
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.

Related Past Posts:
OSHA Significant Citations - Workers Exposed To Amputation Hazards
No OSHA Significant Citations Announced Last Week
OSHA Significant Citations - Two Fines Total $900,000

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posted by Steve Hudgik
View This Post - (1 Comments)


Anonymous Workplace Hazard Communication said...

Thank you for this informative article. Despite years of training on Hazard Communication, employees often ignore the hazards of chemicals in the workplace. The OSHA Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) requires that employees who work with potentially hazardous chemicals receive information about how to use these substances safely. This includes knowing how to read and understand the newly revised Globally Harmonized System (GHS) labels and 16-section Safety Data Sheets.

8:24 PM  

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