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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 26, 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.

Fortune Painting Co. Cited For Repeated Lead Exposure ($159,390)
Amputation & Other Hazards at Kobelco Stewart Bolling ($139,000)
OSHA fines All-Feed Processing and Packaging For Combustible Dust ($254,000)
Nicholson Terminal & Dock Co. After Forklift Fatality ($168,700)


Fortune Painting Co. Inc. has been cited for 25 violations by OSHA, including willful and repeat violations for exposing workers to dangerous levels of lead from lead-based paint. OSHA cited the company for failing to protect workers from serious fall hazards while restoring a home in Wilmette. The Lincolnwood-based company has an extensive history of OSHA violations and faces proposed penalties of $159,390 after the most recent investigation. Lead exposure can cause long-term damage to the central nervous, urinary, blood and reproductive systems.

OSHA initiated an inspection of the company in November 2013 under the National Emphasis Program for Lead and Local Emphasis Program for Fall Hazards.

"Lead is one of the most common health hazards found in industry and is a leading cause of workplace illness. Lead particles are easily transported from work sites on clothing and other materials, so taking precautions to prevent exposure is vitally important to the health of workers and their families," said Angie Loftus, OSHA's area director for Chicago North in Des Plaines. "Fortune Painting has a history of failing to comply with OSHA standards. Repeat violators demonstrate a lack of concern for the safety and health of their workers."

Fortune Painting failed to determine employee exposure to lead before directing workers to remove paint with sanders and scrapers from the Wilmette home, resulting in a willful OSHA violation. 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.

The company was issued seven repeat citations. Repeat violations involved OSHA's respiratory protection standards, such as failing to ensure workers had properly fitted respirators to protect them from lead overexposure and to train them in respiratory use and procedures. Other repeat violations include dry sweeping debris contaminated with lead-based paint, failing to provide dedicated work shoes or disposable coverlets and lack of a clean changing area to prevent the spread of lead contamination.

The company was also cited a repeat violation for failing to protect workers from fall hazards. Falls are the leading cause of death in the construction industry. Last year, nearly 300 workers were fatally injured in construction-related falls nationwide.

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 other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. Fortune Painting was previously cited for these hazards at job sites in 2008 and 2012. Since 2008, the company has been inspected by OSHA 10 times, resulting in multiple violations.

Fortune Painting was cited for 14 serious violations involving lack of respiratory protection; personal protective equipment, such as safety glasses and clothing; training and administrative controls; and housekeeping practices. 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.

Three additional violations involved failing to implement a lead exposure compliance program, improper use of electrical equipment and failing to provide medical recommendations for each employee's ability to use a respirator.

To view the citations see:
http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/Fortune_Painting_948881_Safety.pdf
http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/Fortune_Painting_948845_Health.pdf

Fortune Painting 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.


Kobelco Stewart Bolling Inc., which manufactures industrial machinery, has been cited for 13 safety and health violations by OSHA. Proposed penalties at the company's Hudson facility total $139,000. OSHA's investigation was initiated following a worker complaint, and the investigation found repeat violations of machine guarding standards, which protect workers from lacerations, caught-in and amputation hazards.

"Failing to protect workers from dangerous machinery is among the most frequently cited OSHA violations and injuries involving machinery and equipment often result in death or permanent disability," said Howard Eberts, OSHA's area director in Cleveland.

OSHA QuickCard: Protect Yourself. Amputations. Amputations are widespread and involve a variety of activities and equipment. Each year, thousands of workers lose fingers, hands, feet, and other body parts-mostly through compression, crushing, or by getting them caught between or struck by objects. Most amputations involve fingertips.

Three repeat violations were cited for:
  • inadequate lockout/tagout procedures to protect workers who service or maintain machines from moving machinery parts
  • exposing workers to unguarded equipment
  • not labeling chemical containers.
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 other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. The company was cited for similar violations in 2011.

Six serious violations involved:
  • failing to review lockout/tagout devices annually
  • storing flammable liquids in an exit path
  • lack of fire extinguisher training
  • not identifying and providing the correct chemical resistant gloves to be worn
  • failing to train workers on personal protective equipment.
An OSHA violation is serious if death or serious physical harm can result from a hazard an employer knew or should have known exists.

Kobelco Stewart Bolling was also cited for four other-than-serious violations involving failing to certify and date the workplace hazard assessment, guard machinery, inspect cranes daily and maintain a chemical inventory list.

To view the current citations see:
http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/KobelcoStewartBolling_948383_0513_14.pdf


OSHA has again cited All-Feed Processing and Packaging Inc. for willful and repeat violations for exposing workers to combustible and respiratory dust hazards. In addition to creating an explosion hazard, the plant's high concentration of airborne dust could cause workplace-induced asthma and other illnesses. The company was cited for willful electrical and equipment violations for failing to provide approved equipment for working near combustible dust. OSHA initiated an inspection in November 2013 after a complaint and found one repeat and five willful violations. OSHA has proposed penalties of $254,000 for the pet food manufacturer, which remains in OSHA's Severe Violator Enforcement Program.

Because of the most recent inspection, OSHA has cited the company for five willful violations involving exposing workers to combustible pea flour dust by failing to install a dust collection system with explosion protection. Any combustible material can burn rapidly when in a finely divided form. If such a dust is suspended in the air in the right concentration, under certain conditions, it can become explosive. OSHA also found that electrical equipment and forklifts used by the company were not approved for use in combustible-dust atmospheres. Arcs and sparks from forklifts had the potential to ignite the dust, causing an explosion hazard.

The force from such an explosion can cause employee deaths, injuries and building destruction. For example, three workers were killed in a 2010 titanium dust explosion in West Virginia, and 14 workers were killed in a 2008 sugar dust explosion in Georgia. The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board identified 281 combustible dust incidents between 1980 and 2005 that led to the deaths of 119 workers, 718 injuries and extensive damage to numerous industrial facilities.

All-Feed was cited for allowing worker exposure to airborne concentrations of dust by failing to implement engineering controls and mandating respiratory protection use to prevent dust particle inhalation and struck by hazards, all willful violations.

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 violation was cited for failing to establish an audiometric testing program for all workers whose noise exposure exceeded an eight-hour time weighted average of 85 decibels. OSHA issues repeat violations when a company has previously been cited for the same or a similar violation within the last five years. OSHA cited All-Feed for 23 safety and health violations in November 2011, including willful violations of OSHA's air contaminant, respiratory protection and hearing conservation standards.

To view the citations, visit:
http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/All-FeedProcessingandPackaging_948509_0509_14.pdf
http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/All-FeedProcessingandPackaging_948541_0509_14.pdf

OSHA has inspected All-Feed 14 times since 2000, resulting in more than 70 violations.

In early 2012, the U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois, Peoria Division, found Galva-based All-Feed in civil contempt of court for failing to allow OSHA to inspect its facility between May 4-July 5, 2011, to monitor employee's eight-hour time-weighted average exposure to airborne dust. After gaining entry to conduct the monitoring, workers were found to be exposed to dust particles in excess of the time-weighted allowance per shift


Following the death of a worker who was hit by a forklift, OSHA has cited Nicholson Terminal & Dock Co. with nine-including two willful and seven serious-safety violations. The incident occurred Nov. 19, 2013, at the Detroit marine terminal when the worker was struck by a 62,000-pound-capacity forklift carrying a 40,000-pound steel coil. The company has been placed in OSHA's Severe Violator Enforcement Program.

"Nicholson Terminal & Dock Co. has a responsibility to train its workers in the safe operation of dangerous equipment, and a worker tragically lost his life because this company failed to live up to that responsibility," said Larry Johnson, OSHA's area director in Lansing.

A willful citation was issued for modifying a forklift without obtaining manufacturer approval. A second willful citation was issued for failing to establish vehicle routes, traffic rules and to post signs indicating pedestrian traffic where employees work. 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.

Seven serious safety violations were cited. Five of those involve forklift safety. The citations included failing to:
  • train employees on operating instructions, warnings and precautions listed in the operator's manual;
  • maintain vehicles in safe working order;
  • direct employees to sound the horn when visibility was obstructed;
  • monthly crane inspections;
  • test cargo gear for load capacity.
An OSHA violation is serious if death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard an employer knew or should have known exists.

OSHA has proposed penalties of $168,700. To view the current citations, visit:
http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/NTandD_citation_949121.pdf

Nicholson Terminal & Dock Co. employs about 75 workers and 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.

Being struck-by vehicles and other objects is a leading cause of workplace deaths. Approximately 75 percent of struck-by fatalities involve heavy equipment. Causes of struck-by accidents typically involve reverse vehicle movement into a pedestrian outside the driver's field of vision, or vehicles falling off ramps, inclines or unstable ground. Accident prevention strategies include ensuring back-up alarms are functional, check the periphery of vehicle before operating, stay alert, obey all traffic rules and signs, minimize distractions, inspect and maintain vehicles, use safety belts and turn on headlights.


Related Past Posts:
Significant Citations Part I - Over $1,075,000 In Fines
Significant Citations - OSHA Fines Cooper Power $166,000
Four Significant Citations Announced Last Week

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