Truck Terminal Faces $145,420 in Penalties

Person drive a ForkliftHILLSIDE, Illinois – Central Transport LLC has been cited for 16 violations, including five repeat, one willful and two serious, at its trucking terminal in Hillside, Illinois. An OSHA inspection found repeat and willful violations that involved defective powered industrial vehicles and lack of fall protection.

“Central Transport has been repeatedly cited for unsafe conditions and equipment,” said Angeline Loftus, OSHA’s area director for the Chicago North Office in Des Plaines. “Companies that repeatedly violate basic safety standards consistently put their employees at risk of serious injury and death.”

OSHA opened the March 28, 2014, inspection in response to a complaint. The inspection included an evaluation of forklift use, as required by the Local Emphasis Program for Powered Industrial Vehicles. This LEP was implemented to reduce fatalities and injuries caused by these vehicles, which have been the source of 105 occupational fatalities during fiscal years 2005 through 2013 in Illinois, Wisconsin, and Ohio.

OSHA issued one willful violation for failing to remove forklifts from service that needed repair. 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.

Five repeat violations were issued and included failure to have platform guardrails in place on platforms, which exposed workers to falls of more than four feet, and maintain terminal dock and bay floors clean and dry. Additionally, the company failed to train workers on chemical hazards before assigning them to work with the substances, did not provide eye-drenching facilities for areas where corrosive chemicals were in use and failed to maintain the yard and terminal roadway free of potholes and hazards.

In September, the company was cited for similar violations at its Rock Island terminal that involved defective powered industrial vehicles and lack of fall protection, with proposed penalties of $108,020. The company has contested those violations.

Central Transport was cited in 2009, 2010 and 2013 at locations in Georgia, Ohio and Mississippi for similar violations. 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.

Two serious violations were issued for failing to have handrails on stairs with four or more risers, not installing slip-resistant treads on stairs and failing to guard the floor opening on a pit to prevent falls. 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.

To view the citations, visit http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/CentralTransportLLC_966185.pdf.

Central Transport based in Warren, Michigan, employs about 4,300 workers at 170 locations nationwide. The Hillside terminal has about 100 employees. The company has contested the findings and will appear before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Posted in Fall Protection, OSHA, OSHA Inspections, Powered Industrial Trucks | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Seven Citations and $186,000 in Penalties

iStock_000017937891SmallNEW YORK – Drivers and loading-dock workers at UniFirst Corp. were exposed to hazards that involved bloodborne pathogens and lead at its facility in West Caldwell, New Jersey, according to an administrative law judge from the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. On September 30, Administrative Law Judge Carol Baumerich issued a ruling that affirmed all citations and penalties against the company from a 2011 inspection by OSHA.

“UniFirst’s plain indifference to OSHA’s requirements compromised the safety and health of its workers,” said Robert Kulick, OSHA’s regional administrator in New York. “The judge’s decision in this case sends a strong message to UniFirst and other employers: Those who ignore their legal responsibility to provide safe and healthy workplaces for employees will be held accountable.”

OSHA cited the company for violations of its Bloodborne Pathogens Standard, including failure to conduct proper training and provide Hepatitis B vaccinations to drivers and loading-dock workers. These workers picked up and sorted dirty lab coats and other laundry from customers who regularly drew and/or tested blood. The workers were exposed to lab coats and laundry potentially contaminated with blood or improperly disposed of contaminated needles or syringes mixed in with the laundry. The company was also cited for exposing workers to lead hazards because employees were picking up laundry that had been contaminated with lead. Lead was subsequently found on work surfaces at the facility.

UniFirst contested the citations, and a five-day hearing was held in Newark, New Jersey, beginning on May 22, 2013. Margaret Temple and Andrew Katz from the department’s Regional Office of the Solicitor in New York tried the case.

Judge Baumerich found that UniFirst’s management routinely and intentionally falsified training sign-in sheets, intentionally required employees to sign training sign-in sheets without receiving training, forged employee signatures and allowed training to be conducted by managers who were not competent in the subjects they taught.

The judge determined that the majority of the company’s employees neither received the Hepatitis B vaccine nor signed the form declining the vaccine. In some cases, employees were not given the option to receive the vaccine for months, and in some instances years, upon gaining employment at the facility. The judge also found that the company did not comply with OSHA standards requiring the use of biohazard bags.

Judge Baumerich concluded that employees did not receive training on the hazards of lead exposure until after the OSHA inspection began, although they were potentially exposed to airborne lead before the inspection. She determined that without the proper training, employees would not know that laundry could be contaminated with lead or how to handle potentially contaminated laundry and to wear appropriate personal protective equipment.

UniFirst Corp., based in Wilmington, Massachusetts, has 20 days from the date the administrative law judge’s decision is docketed with the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission to appeal the ruling. The original inspection was conducted by OSHA’s Parsippany Area Office.

The commission is an independent federal agency that decides contests of citations or penalties resulting from OSHA workplace inspections. An employer who is cited by OSHA for an alleged workplace health or safety violation can contest the OSHA citation and have the case heard by a commission administrative law judge, who issues a decision. The judge’s decision can then be appealed to the commission, whose members are presidential appointees.

Posted in Bloodborne Pathogens, Lead, OSHA, OSHA Inspections | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A+ Roofing cited 5 prior times, faces $61,600 in fines

iStock_000006894580XSmall RooferCONCORD, New Hampshire – Employees of Ken Stanley, doing business as A+ Roofing, were exposed to potentially fatal falls of up to 25 feet at a job site due to their employer’s failure to ensure the use of required fall protection. The Milton-based roofing contractor, who has been cited five times previously for the same hazard, faces $61,600 in proposed fines from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

OSHA opened its inspection in June 2014. A concerned passer-by, who saw employees exposed to falls as they installed a roof on the Riverside Garage, contacted OSHA. The agency found eight employees working at heights of up to 25 feet without fall protection.

“There was nothing to prevent these workers from falling more than two stories to the ground below. They were at risk of death or disabling injuries. Their employer, with a history of similar violations, knew that the lack of fall protection violated workplace safety standards,” said Rosemarie Ohar, OSHA’s area director for New Hampshire.

OSHA observed that employees working on the ground were not wearing head protection to safeguard against being struck by falling objects, another hazard for which OSHA had previously cited the business. As a result, OSHA cited the contactor for two willful violations, with $55,000 in fines.

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. A+ Roofing was cited by OSHA five times between 2004 and 2013 for similar fall hazards at work sites in Northwood, North Conway and Keene; Kittery, Maine; and Haverhill, Massachusetts.

Three serious violations, with $6,600 in fines, were cited for additional hazards at the Somersworth job site. They included lack of fall protection training, no protection against eye injuries for employees using pneumatic nail guns and no fire extinguisher where containers of gasoline were present on-site. 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.

Falls are the number one killer in construction work. To raise awareness of fall hazards and safeguards among workers, employers and the public, OSHA has created a Stop Falls Web page 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.

“A fall can occur in less time than it takes to finish this sentence. If you fall and there is no effective fall protection in place and in use, gravity will take over and your life or career could end in seconds,” said Jeffrey Erskine, OSHA’s acting deputy regional administrator for New England. “Employers, it is imperative that you plan ahead to get the job done safely, provide your employees with the right equipment and train them to use it properly.”

Posted in Fall Protection, Fire Extinguishers, OSHA Inspections, PPE | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Proposed fines of $89,500 for steel foundry

iStock_Lockout_TagoutCOLUMBUS, Ohio – A Columbus Castings worker suffered a broken back, a collapsed lung, and partial paralysis of his left leg after becoming pinned in a machine at the steel foundry in April 2014. An investigation into the incident resulted in the issuance of two repeat and two serious safety violations by OSHA. The steel foundry has been cited 11 times in the past 10 years for exposing workers to dangerous machine hazards at the plant, which produces castings for use in the automotive, mining, agricultural, construction and rail industries. Proposed penalties total $89,500.

“This worker suffered life-altering injuries because Columbus Castings failed to implement basic safety procedures. Workers in this plant operate heavy industrial machinery that can produce castings weighing up to 70,000 pounds, and they deserve protection,” said Deborah Zubaty, OSHA’s area director in Columbus. “No one should be injured on the job because their employer failed to recognize hazards and correct them.”

OSHA’s investigation found that during maintenance on equipment hydraulics, the company failed to lockout equipment used by the employee, which resulted in two serious safety violations. 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 company failed to have adequate machine guarding on the equipment. In 2010, the company was cited for a similar violation at this same facility. Lack of machine guarding and lockout procedures are among the most frequently cited OSHA standards. OSHA issues repeat violations if an employer previously was cited for the same or a similar violation of any standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years.

Posted in Lockout/Tagout, Machine Safety | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

OSHA InspectorDECATUR, Georgia – Plaid Enterprises Inc. was cited by OSHA for six safety violations that involved amputation, electrical, and other safety hazards following an April 2014 inspection at the company’s craft paint production facility located in Decatur. Proposed penalties total $84,500.

Staffing agency Prologistix provided temporary workers for the Plaid Enterprises’ facility, but neither maintained supervision at the company nor was knowledgeable about the facility’s hazardous conditions. No citations were proposed for Prologistix.

“This employer clearly knew safety measures were bypassed and allowed its workers to be exposed to hazards that could cause severe injuries and fatalities,” said Bill Fulcher, director of OSHA’s Atlanta-East Area Office. “Production demands cannot be an excuse to allow either permanent or temporary workers to be exposed to these types of hazards.”

Plaid Enterprises was issued a willful citation for worker exposure to amputation hazards and a risk of being caught-in machinery that had safety locking devices that were bypassed or deliberately disabled. 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.

Three serious citations were issued for failure to develop and implement written instructions for disabling power from equipment to allow workers to perform maintenance and service safely, and for not removing forklifts from service that had nonoperational safety equipment. Additionally, the employer put workers at risk for shock and burn hazards from exposed electrical connections and unguarded wiring. 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. Two additional violations were cited for using space around electrical panels for storage and for exposing workers to unguarded rotating shafts.

In April 2013, OSHA announced an initiative to improve workplace safety and health for temporary workers, who are at increased risk of work-related injury and illness. The initiative includes outreach, training and enforcement to ensure that temporary workers are protected in their workplaces. In recent months, OSHA has received and investigated many reports of temporary workers suffering serious or fatal injuries, some in their first days on the job. Following these investigations OSHA and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health issued a “Recommended Practices” publication that focused on ensuring that temporary workers received the same training and protection that existing workers received.

Plaid Enterprises, located in Decatur, manufactures, bottles and packages hobby and craft paints for sale. The company employs approximately 279 workers at this facility.

Posted in Electrical, Machine Safety, OSHA, OSHA Inspections, Powered Industrial Trucks | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

OSHA proposes fines of $133,900

welder-railcarOMAHA, Nebraska – A worker at Watco Investments LLC reported suffering from respiratory inflammation after performing welding work inside a rail car in Omaha. The company, operating as Watco Companies Inc., has been cited by OSHA for three repeat and three serious safety violations, many involving confined space safety regulations.  Proposed fines total $133,900 for the company, which specializes in rail car repairs.

“Confined spaces can put workers at risk for serious injury and illness. These spaces often have poor air quality and other serious hazards,” said Bonita Winingham, OSHA’s area director in Omaha. “Employers, such as Watco Companies, have a responsibility to train workers in the unique dangers of confined space entry and to ensure spaces are safe for the work tasks performed.”

OSHA initiated the March 27, 2014, inspection after receiving a report of the illness from the Nebraska Department of Labor Workers’ Compensation Division. OSHA has a Local Emphasis Program on Workers’ Compensation to reduce injuries and illnesses in private industry within Nebraska. The inspection found that Watco Companies allowed employees to enter rail cars to perform repair tasks, including welding, without implementing procedures required under OSHA’s permit-required confined space regulations. A confined space is one large enough for workers to enter and perform certain jobs, has limited or restricted means for entry or exit and is not designed for continuous occupancy, such as an enclosed rail car.

OSHA found three repeat violations for failure to implement training, procedures and practices for safe entry into these spaces, including the company’s failure to evaluate for hazards, and to provide workers with communication devices or implement measures to prevent unauthorized entry.

OSHA issues repeat violations if an employer was previously cited for the same or a similar violation of any standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. Watco Companies was previously cited for these violations in 2013 in Texas.

Serious violations were cited for failure to provide administrative and engineering controls to reduce damaging noise exposure, electrical hazards and lack of atmospheric controls in confined spaces. An OSHA violation is serious if death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard an employer knew or should have known exits.

Watco Companies, a transportation company based in Pittsburg, Kansas, provides mechanical, transportation, terminal and port service solutions for customers throughout North America and Australia. Watco Companies employs about 4,500 workers nationwide and 30 in Omaha.

View current citations here.

Posted in Confined Space, Electrical, Hearing Protection | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

09/23/2014 – From Kentucky Department of Labor

Notice regarding OSHA’s New Recordkeeping and Reporting Final Rule:

On September 18, OSHA published a final rule in the Federal Register revising the reporting requirements of severe injuries and updating the list of industries partially exempt from recordkeeping requirements established in 29 CFR 1904. Establishments in federal jurisdictions must comply with the new requirements beginning January 1, 2015.

In 2006, Kentucky implemented reporting requirements found in 803 Kentucky Administrative Regulation (KAR) 2:180 that differ from OSHA’s current requirements but are similar to the final rule OSHA published on September 18. The Department of Workplace Standards is reviewing the effect of OSHA’s September 18 final rule to determine what action by the Labor Cabinet may be necessary. Right now, 803 KAR 2:180 remains in effect in the Commonwealth of Kentucky until a determination is made.

Questions can be directed to the Office of Standards Interpretation and Development at (502) 564-3070.

Posted in Recordkeeping | Tagged , , | Leave a comment
Siemens SBGA-34 Audible Base showing snap-in detector mounting

Siemens SBGA-34 Audible Base showing snap-in detector mounting

Siemens SBGA-34 Audible Base (Reverse Side) showing Model Number, Date Code, and screw terminals for connecting to smoke detector

Siemens SBGA-34 Audible Base (Reverse Side) showing Model Number, Date Code, and screw terminals for connecting to smoke detector

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recall Date:  September 18, 2014

Recall Numbers:  14-278

Name of Product:  SBGA-34 Audible Fire Alarm Base

Hazard:  The fire alarm base can fail to sound an alarm, posing a risk of personal injury and property damage.

Remedy:  Consumers should immediately contact Siemens to schedule a free inspection and replacement of the recalled audible base.

Consumer Contact:  Siemens at (800) 516-9964 from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. CT Monday through Friday, or online at www.usa.siemens.com/buildingtechnologies and click on “Product Safety Recall” for more information.

Units:  About 9,000

Description:  This recall involves the SBGA-34 audible base that is affixed to ceiling-mounted smoke detectors in order to sound an alarm when the fire alarm system is activated. The audible base has part number S54370-F13 and date codes 0113 through 2314 in a WWYY format printed on a white label on the back of the unit part affixed to the wall. “MODEL SBGA-34” is printed on a blue label also affixed to the back of the device. The base is off-white and measures about 6 inches in diameter. The audible base is used with the following fire detectors:

•Cerberus PRO models (HI921, OOHC941, OOH941, OH921, OP921)

•Desigo Fire Safety models (FDOOTC441, FDOOT441, FDO421, FDOT421, FDT421)

•H-Series (HFP-11, HFPT-11, HFPO-11)

•Faraday 87XX-Series, models (8713, 8712, 8710)

The audible base and fire detectors are used with the following alarm systems:

•Siemens model FireFinder® XLS via DLC 6312 Device Loop Card

•Siemens model FS -250

•Desigo model FC2005, (50-point panel)

•Desigo model FC2025, (252-point system)

•Desigo model FC2050, (504-point system)

•Cerberus PRO FC901, (50-point panel

•Cerberus PRO FC922, (252-point system)

•Cerberus PRO FC924, (504-point system)

•Faraday models MPC-600 & MPC-7000

Incidents/Injuries:  None reported.

Sold at:  Siemens sales offices, authorized distributors and installers nationwide from February 2013 through June 2014 for about $120.

Importer:  Siemens, of Buffalo, Ill.

Manufacturer:  Beijing Siemens Cerberus Electronics Ltd., of China

Manufactured in:  China

Posted in Fire Prevention & Protection, Home safety, Product Safety Recall | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Welding company exposed employees to fire, chemical, respiratory hazards

iStock_000018872028_ExtraSmallBRAINTREE, Massachusetts – Guiseppe Falcone and Daniele Falcone, doing business as D & J Ironworks, failed to follow safety precautions, which fire officials indicated led to a fire that cost the lives of two Boston fire fighters, an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration determined.

The fire in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood on March 26, 2014, was caused because the Malden-based welding company allowed its employees to install railings using arc welding equipment during high wind conditions. Fire officials said sparks from welding railings at 296 Beacon St. ignited clapboards on an adjacent shed at 298 Beacon St., which led to the fire.

“OSHA found that the company lacked an effective fire prevention and protection program, failed to train its employees in fire safety, did not have a fire watch present and did not move the railing to another location where the welding could be performed safely,” said Brenda Gordon, OSHA’s area director for Boston and southeastern Massachusetts. “This company’s failure to implement these required, common-sense safeguards put its own employees at risk and resulted in a needless, tragic fire.”

The company also failed to protect its employees against respiratory and chemical hazards associated with welding, cutting, drilling and painting operations. It failed to evaluate employees’ medical fitness to wear respirators or train employees how to clean, store and maintain respirators; evaluate respiratory hazards for workers; inform employees of chemical hazards associated with welding and how to address them; and maintain safety data sheets on hazardous chemicals.

OSHA cited D & J Ironworks for 10 serious violations of workplace safety standards and imposed fines of $58,000.  The citations can be viewed here.

Posted in Chemical Safety, Fire Prevention & Protection, OSHA, OSHA Inspections, Respiratory Protection, Welding | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

JC Stucco and Stone Inc. facing $235,700 in proposed penalties

climbing scaffoldMasonry contractor JC Stucco and Stone Inc. has been cited for three willful and three repeat safety violations. OSHA’s March 2014 inspection was initiated in response to a referral by the Philadelphia Department of Licenses and Inspections due to an imminent threat to worker health and safety at the site. The investigation found workers were exposed to fall hazards while applying stucco to the exterior of a residential construction site in Philadelphia. The proposed penalties total $235,700.

“This employer was placed in OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program in 2011 after multiple instances of repeated, high-gravity violations,” said Nicholas DeJesse, director of OSHA’s Philadelphia Area Office. “By refusing to provide the proper fall protection, this company is putting workers’ lives at risk. Falls are the leading cause of death in construction. Protecting workers from fall hazards must be a priority.”

The willful violations, carrying a $200,500 penalty, were cited for the company’s failure to use scaffolding with adequate bracing to prevent tipping or collapse and to provide fall protection for employees working up to a height of 32 feet. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, falls to lower levels accounted for 11 percent of all worker fatalities suffered in the Philadelphia area during 2012, the most recent year with available data. 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.

In addition, the agency issued repeat citations, with a $35,200 penalty, for additional scaffolding hazards, lack of training on fall dangers and the company’s failure to develop and implement a hazard communication program. The company was cited for similar violations in 2011 and 2012.

Citations can be viewed at: http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/JCStuccoandStoneCitationPackage965013.pdf.

Posted in Fall Protection, Hazard Communication, OSHA Inspections, Scaffolding | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment