Federal OSHA inspectors ended 2016 with a bang, proposing fines of just over $5 million in 14 investigations with fines of $100,000 or more. The top citation accounted for just over half of the month's total. Common citations included machine guarding, lockout-tagout and PPE violations. Below are details on the top fines. Many are still pending final decisions.
$2.56 Million and SVEP after a fatality at an Alabama auto parts supplierFollowing the crushing death of a worker in a robotic machine, OSHA cited 23 willful, serious and other-than-serious violations, including 19 egregious instance-by-instance willful violations, to Joon LLC, doing business as Ajin USA of Cusseta. OSHA also cited two staffing agencies - Alliance HR Inc., doing business as Alliance Total Solutions LLC and Joynus Staffing Corp. - for two serious safety violations each. Collectively, the three companies face $2,565,621 in penalties.
OSHA issued willful citations for:
- Failing to utilize energy control procedures to prevent machinery from starting up during maintenance and servicing.
- Exposing workers to caught-in, struck-by and crushing hazards by allowing them to enter a robotic cell without shutting down and securing hazardous stored energy according to safety procedures.
- Failing to provide safety locks to isolate hazardous energy.
- Exposing employees to crushing and amputation hazards due to improper machine guarding.
$342,059 for bloodborne pathogen hazards at a Maryland USPS facilityFollowing a complaint alleging employee exposure to blood and other potentially infectious bodily fluids while handling packages labeled as containing biological infectious materials,
OSHA issued two willful, and three repeat health violations. Willful violations relate to failure to implement a written bloodborne pathogens exposure control plan, including performing an exposure determination and offering exposed employees the Hepatitis B vaccine. Additionally, the USPS failed to implement a hazard communication program. The employer did not properly train workers for bloodborne pathogen protection or provide them with properly-sized gloves, resulting in the other violations. See the citations here.
$338,000 total fines for machine guard and PPE violations at a Massachusetts packaging companyFollowing a temporary worker injury, OSHA inspectors identified several new and recurring hazards at the Shield Packaging Co. plant that exposed workers to lacerations, amputation, hearing loss, hazardous chemicals, crushing and struck-by injuries and being unable to exit the plant safely in the event of an emergency. The company and two staffing agencies were cited and fined.
Citations issued include failures to:
- Properly guard aerosol can crimping machinery against employee contact.
- Provide proper hearing protection and training to employees exposed to high noise levels.
- Provide employees with and ensure the use of face shields, gloves and other protective equipment.
- Ensure that designated exit routes did not pass through high hazard areas.
- Develop and utilize lockout-tagout procedures and train employees about those procedures.
- Prevent the operation and use of defective powered industrial trucks.
- Provide employees with information and training about the hazardous chemicals in their workplace.
$247,934 and SVEP for repeat and serious violations at an Ohio plastics manufacturerFollowing the second sever injury in 18 months, OSHA inspectors issued four repeated, six serious and three other-than-serious safety violations of machine safety procedures at Lauren Manufacturing after a pneumatic bench cutter severed a 27-year-old employee's finger. Inspectors found the employer did not adjust the machine's light curtains - which serve as safeguards - properly to prevent the worker's hand from coming in contact with the machine's operating parts.
OSHA also found the company:
- Allowed temporary workers to operate machinery without training on proper lockout/tag out procedures.
- Failed to develop and implement adequate lockout/tag out procedures and periodically inspect such procedures.
- Did not provide protective footwear or adequate personnel protective equipment to protect employees from burns.
- Exposed workers to live electrical contacts.
$260,113 for inadequate machine guards at a Wisconsin lumber companyInvestigating after a partial amputation incident, OSHA found multiple woodworking machines at Menzner Lumber and Supply lacked adequate safeguards and that workers were not properly trained in lockout-tagout procedures. OSHA identified three repeat and seven serious safety violations, including electrical safety violations, lack of guarding on ladder wells to prevent falls, and inadequate energy control procedures at the facility. View the citations here.
$178,156 for repeat safety violations at a Virginia USPS facilityRepeat violations relate to workers operating powered industrial trucks without seatbelts, employees exposed to caught-between hazards, and powered industrial trucks used without being inspected. USPS was cited previously for similar violations in 2014 and 2015. Struck-by hazards due to inadequate lighting, and the use of defective equipment, resulted in the serious violations. See the citations here.
$171,169 for fatal machine guard and PPE violations a Wisconsin manufacturerThe death of a 51-year-old chemical technician at a coatings company's facility has resulted in three repeat, four serious and three other than serious safety citations. The worker suffered fatal injuries when an automated crane pinned him between the crane hook and dip tank load bars as it moved product to different tanks on an anodizing line. OSHA reports that Crystal Finishing failed to:
- Adequately guard machines to prevent workers from coming in contact with operating parts.
- Protect workers walking working surfaces.
- Provided adequate personal protective equipment.
- Train workers about hazardous chemicals in use at the facility.