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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, May 19, 2014

OSHA Significant Citations - Part II

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.

Massachusetts Contractor Cited Following Fatal Fall ($119,350)
Star Snacks Co. LLC Cited For Carbon Monoxide and Noise ($180,000)


OSHA Photo Showing
Properly Installed Scaffolding
A 51-year-old roofer fell 17 feet to his death on November 14, 2013, while performing roofing work on condominium at 57 Main St. in Stockbridge, MA. An investigation by the Springfield Area Office of OSHA found that his employer, Lee-based Fairview Contractors Inc., failed to provide fall protection and guardrails that would have prevented the fall from occurring.

"This was a needless and avoidable loss of a worker's life. While guardrails and fall arrest systems were present at this work site, they were not used and were thus useless," said Mary Hoye, OSHA's area director for central and western Massachusetts. "Fatalities such as this will stop only when employers supply and ensure the use of effective and legally required fall protection safeguards on all job sites at all times."

OSHA found that the four scaffolds on which the employees worked lacked guardrails and that employees working on the roof and scaffolds lacked fall arrest systems. An additional fall hazard stemmed from a lack of guardrails for walkboards that workers used to access one scaffold from another. Fairview Contractors also failed to train the workers about how to recognize hazards and work safely on scaffolds, roofs and ladders. As a result of these conditions, OSHA cited Fairview Contractors for two willful violations for the lack of fall protection and five serious violations for the remaining hazards.

The worker's death was one of seven fatal falls in Massachusetts' construction industry in 2012, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Falls are the leading cause of death in construction work, yet they are also among the types of hazards that are the most easily identifiable and eliminated. Failing to provide fall protection for workers is one of the 10 most frequently cited OSHA violations.

National Fall Safety Stand-Down June 2nd - 6th

To raise awareness of fall hazards and safeguards, a National Safety Stand-Down to prevent falls in construction will be conducted from June 2 to June 6. This is a voluntary event in which employers talk directly to their employees about fall hazards and reinforce the importance of fall prevention. Participating employers will stop their work and provide a focused toolbox talk on a safety topic, such as ladder safety, fall protection equipment or scaffold safety. OSHA is encouraging employers and workers to participate.

"The Stand-Down is part of OSHA's ongoing fall prevention campaign aimed at educating workers, employers and the public about the need for employers to plan to work safely, provide their employees with proper and effective fall protection equipment, and train their employees to recognize fall hazards and use the equipment safety," said Robert Hooper, OSHA's acting New England regional administrator. "For the sake of their employees' safety and well-being, we're asking employers in New England to take a few minutes to focus on preventing this deadly hazard."

Fairview Contractors, which faces a total of $119,350 in proposed fines.

OSHA has placed Fairview Contractors in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program, which mandates targeted follow-up inspections to ensure compliance with the law. Initiated in March 2011, the program focuses on recalcitrant employers that endanger workers by committing willful, repeat or failure-to-abate violations.


Roasted nut manufacturer Star Snacks Co. LLC has been cited by OSHA for two willful and six serious safety violations, resulting in a $180,000 proposed penalty. The violations include overexposure to dangerous levels of carbon monoxide and noise hazards found at the company's Bayonne manufacturing facility.

"A forklift operator was overexposed to carbon monoxide and hospitalized in 2007, but Star Snacks Co. still doesn't have the necessary safeguards in place to protect its employees from carbon monoxide, noise and other workplace hazards,"
said Kris Hoffman, director of OSHA's Parsippany Area Office.

The willful violations, carrying a $140,000 penalty, were cited because employees were exposed to dangerous levels of carbon monoxide. Overexposure to carbon monoxide can cause dizziness, headache, nausea, vomiting, loss of consciousness and death.

The company also was cited for its failure to provide baseline and annual audiograms and implement controls to reduce noise levels.

The serious violations, with a $40,000 penalty, were issued because the company failed to:
  • provide employees training in chemical and noise hazards;
  • provide suitable hearing protection;
  • ensure employees who experienced hearing loss were refitted and retrained in the use of hearing protectors;
  • ensure complete recordkeeping of audiometric testing results;
  • provide safe exit routes;
  • implement a written chemical hazard communication program.
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/StarSnacksCoLLC945501.pdf

To reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning in the workplace, employers should install an effective ventilation system, avoid the use of fuel-burning equipment in enclosed or partially enclosed spaces, use carbon monoxide detectors in areas where the hazard is a concern, and take other precautions outlined in OSHA's carbon monoxide fact sheet. For additional information on carbon monoxide poisoning and preventing exposure in the workplace, see OSHA's carbon monoxide poisoning quick cards in English and Spanish.

Approximately 22 million workers nationwide are exposed to potentially damaging noise yearly, and thousands of workers annually suffer from preventable hearing loss due to high workplace noise levels. In 2011, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported more than 20,000 cases of work-related hearing loss. OSHA offers information about noise hazards at: https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/noisehearingconservation/index.html.


Related Past Posts:
Significant Citations - OSHA Fines Cooper Power $166,000
Four Significant Citations Announced Last Week
Fall Hazards, Lack of Guarding and LOTO Result In Citations

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