Staffing company fails to train temporary workers in safety procedures

Work AccidentCHICAGO – Left unguarded, dangerous machines with moving parts cause hundreds of thousands of workers to suffer finger, hand or foot amputations and other serious injuries each year in the United States. Despite these dangers, one Chicago-based manufacturer has repeatedly ignored the risks and has been found in violation of safety and health standards four times in the last five years.

Edsal Manufacturing Co. was inspected again in September 2014 by OSHA investigators and cited for five repeated and 16 serious violations, including electrical hazards and failing to train workers in forklift operations and machine hazards. Edsal faces proposed penalties of $294,300 and has been placed in OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program.

“When a machine lacks safety features, one slip and a worker can lose a hand,” said Kathy Webb, area director of OSHA’s Calumet City office. “With stakes this high, Edsal Manufacturing must ensure the safety and health of its 1,200 employees. This company has shown, time and time again, it does not take worker safety seriously. That attitude needs to change.”

Responding to a complaint, agency investigators saw workers endangered by machine hazards. While operating mechanical power presses, workers were exposed to unguarded foot pedals, point of operation and chains and sprockets. The inspection resulted in five repeated violations. Edsal Manufacturing was cited for similar violations at this same facility in 2010 and 2012. The company also failed to store pallets of paint properly; provide training to workers on hazardous chemicals in the workplace; maintain fire extinguishers; inspect cranes periodically for safety issues; and provide welding screens and eye protection. Electrical safety hazards and lack of training were also noted. A total of 16 serious safety and health violations were issued.

OSHA has also cited KG Payroll & Staffing Services Corp., which provides temporary labor to the plant, for failing to train workers on personnel protective equipment needed for the job and the potential hazards of chemicals used in the facility. The company has a contract with Edsal Manufacturing to provide training for any temporary workers it assigns to the plant. The Berwyn company was issued two serious safety violations with proposed penalties of $11,000.

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Discount chain retailer has history of OSHA violations

iStock_000017378933XSmallBOWDON, Georgia – Dollar General Corp. has been cited again by OSHA, this time for four repeated safety violations found in a December 2014 inspection of the Bowdon store at 203 Wedowee Street. OSHA initiated the inspection after receiving a complaint and has proposed penalties of $83,050.

Dollar General stores around the country have received more than 40 citations after more than 70 OSHA inspections since 2009. The violations typically found include blocked exits and electrical panels and improperly maintained fire extinguishers.

“Dollar General has been repeatedly cited for blocked exits and electrical panels in stores around the country, but we continue to find these hazards. This appears to be an example of a corporation not sharing safety information with all its entities and employees,” said Christi Griffin, director of OSHA’s Atlanta-West Area Office. “The company needs to address these issues at its locations immediately.”

Repeated citations were issued for the employer failing to ensure that exit doors were unlocked and exit routes and electrical access panels were not blocked by merchandise, display racks or supplies. Store management also failed to have portable fire extinguishers inspected annually.

A repeated 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 facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. This employer was previously cited for these same violations in 2014 and 2010.

With headquarters in Goodlettsville, Tennessee, Dollar General is a discount retailer with more than 100,000 employees nationwide. Workers are typically engaged in stocking shelves and selling merchandise.

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OSHA cites company for 2 willful, 4 repeat, 12 serious safety violations

welderBARRON, Wisconsin – Once again, workers were exposed to dangerous amputation hazards while fabricating metal products because safety mechanisms were not in place at Koser Iron Works Inc. During an October 2014 inspection, OSHA inspectors found two willful, four repeated and 12 serious safety violations, including lack of training and personal protective equipment. The agency has proposed fines of $102,180 for the Barron-based company, a  facility that primarily cuts, forms and welds steel and steel products.

“Workers pay the price when companies fail to follow safety standards,” said Mark Hysell, OSHA’s area director in Eau Claire. “Machine hazards are among the most frequently cited by OSHA. All manufacturers should examine their procedures to ensure they are in compliance. It takes seconds for a worker to be severely injured, but often a lifetime to recover.”

While Koser employees made die changes on punch presses, the company failed to use energy control procedures, including powering off and affixing locking devices to prevent unintentional operation of a press. The company also failed to ensure safety mechanisms were in place on its power presses and lathes. Similar hazards were found in a 2013 investigation after a complaint prompted an inspection at the same facility.

Inspectors also found that lift truck operators were not trained before operating equipment, a violation also noted in 2013, which produced a second repeated violation. OSHA issues repeated 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 past five years.

Workers were also found to be exposed to explosion and fire hazards because Koser failed to store flammable liquids properly; electrical equipment and lift trucks were not approved for areas with flammable atmospheres; and the company failed to install a required ventilation system in the storage room.

Koser Iron Works also failed to ensure the use of eye protection or to evaluate employees medically before they used respirators. Damaged welding and electrical equipment were also noted. In total, 12 serious violations were issued.

To view the current citations, visit

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Proposed penalties exceed $49,000

iStock_000002377862XSmallIn October 2014, OSHA initiated an inspection of the main post office in Des Moines after receiving an employee complaint alleging that unsafe forklifts were being used at the facility. OSHA issued one repeated and two serious safety violations involving standards for powered industrial vehicles, tugs and forklifts being the most commonly used.

“The Postal Service has a responsibility to make sure equipment is maintained in good working order,” said Larry Davidson, OSHA’s area director in Des Moines. “Each year hundreds of workers are injured after being hit by forklifts. Having operating lights and other safety equipment helps to prevent such incidents.”

OSHA’s investigation found one forklift and two tugs were operating without such functioning flashing lights. OSHA previously cited the same facility for this violation in 2010. OSHA issues repeated violations when an employer has been previously cited for the same or a similar violation in the past five years.

Two serious violations were cited for failing to make repairs on a forklift and to remove it from service until fully functioning.

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R+L Carriers faces $86,900 in penalties for serious violations

iStock_000018872028_ExtraSmallBRIDGEPORT, Connecticut – Employees at a Wallingford freight shipping terminal faced dangerous chemical, fire and explosion hazards on October 6, 2014, as they tried to contain a highly flammable and explosive chemical spill without proper training and personal protective equipment, OSHA investigators have determined.

As a result of these conditions, OSHA found two repeated and four serious violations of workplace safety standards by R+L Carriers Shared Services LLC. The company faces $86,900 in proposed fines. The repeated violations stem from similar hazards cited by OSHA during a 2011 inspection of an R+L terminal in Chicago.

“These workers were essentially defenseless. They did not know how to evaluate the hazards involved, what personal protective equipment to use and what steps to follow to contain the spill safely. Worse, no one present at the terminal did,” said Robert Kowalski, OSHA’s area director in Bridgeport. “These deficiencies in emergency response* by R+L Carriers put its employees at risk of death or serious injury.”

The investigation determined a forklift was being used to move a pallet of tetrahydrofuran, a highly flammable liquid with a flash point of 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit, from one truck to another when a 55-gallon drum containing the liquid was punctured accidentally. The chemical began leaking through the truck bed to the ground. R+L employees attempted to contain the spill with sorbent material beneath the truck and by cordoning off the area. OSHA investigators found that Wallingford terminal’s management lacked an emergency response plan and had not trained employees as first responders.

Management also did not evaluate the hazards associated with tetrahydrofuran; failed to provide the responding employees with appropriate respiratory protection and personal protective equipment; and did not have a qualified person on-site to oversee the response. The terminal’s emergency action plan also did not include procedures for timely reporting of emergency events. It was also noted that employees had not been briefed on updates to the plan. Finally, the forklift that punctured the drum was not operated properly.

R+L Carriers is a nationwide freight shipping company of 9,000 employees headquartered in Wilmington, Ohio; 45 work at the Wallingford terminal.


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Kansas City, Missouri, store receives 11 violations

iStock_000001167898SmallKANSAS CITY, Missouri – A worker alleging the existence of asbestos, mold and hygiene hazards led to an inspection of an Advance Auto Parts store in Kansas City, where OSHA found one repeat and 10 serious safety and health violations with fines of $60,000.

“Exposure to asbestos is a dangerous workplace issue that can cause loss of lung function and cancer, among other serious health effects. When Advance Auto uses an older building with presumed asbestos-containing material, such as floor tiles, it has a responsibility to conduct periodic air monitoring and must post warning signs for workers,” said Barbara Theriot, OSHA’s area director in Kansas City. “The company also has a responsibility to maintain the building in a sanitary and safe manner. OSHA found persistent flooding, which caused mold growth and created lower-level slip and fall hazards. This is unacceptable.”

OSHA inspectors tested bulk samples of furnace room floor tiles and found they contained 3 percent chrysotile, a form of asbestos. Sample air monitoring did not detect asbestos fibers circulating in the heating and air conditioning system. However, particles could become airborne from deteriorating tiles and persistent flooding, a consistent issue throughout the building.

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral fiber used in some building materials before its health dangers were discovered. Asbestos fibers are invisible and can be inhaled into the lungs unknowingly. Inhaled fibers can then become embedded in the lungs.

Inspectors also found electrical safety violations and blocked exit routes at the store, resulting in the 10 serious violations. 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 also noted a repeated violation for failing to provide inspectors with injury and illness logs. Based in Roanoke, Virginia, Advance Auto Parts was previously cited for this violation in a Delaware, Ohio, store in 2010 and a Lakeland, Florida, store in 2011. OSHA issues repeated violations if an employer was cited previously for the same or a similar violation within the last five years.

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OSHA cites Hussmann Corp. for 3 willful, 12 serious violations

iStock_000023698673XSmallBRIDGETON, Missouri – A 58-year-old maintenance worker was killed after he was pinned between a scrap metal table and a railing at Hussmann Corp.’s Bridgeton facility.  An investigation by OSHA found the company failed to prevent the table from lowering unintentionally. As a result, Hussmann received three willful and 12 serious safety violations after the September 2014 incident. The company was also placed in OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program.

“This tragic loss could have been prevented,” said Bill McDonald, OSHA’s area director in St. Louis. “OSHA inspectors found workers at risk of life-threatening hazards because Hussmann Corp. failed to train its workforce to prevent unintentional operation of dangerous machinery. This company needs to fix safety procedure deficiencies, so no other family is forced to suffer.”

OSHA cited Hussmann Corp. for three willful violations for not placing devices on machinery to prevent the sudden startup or movement of equipment during service and maintenance. The company also failed to correct numerous problems related to its lockout/tagout procedures, such as using electronic gate switches as a substitute for an energy-isolating device.

Hussmann Corp. also failed to train workers on safety procedures and lacked effective safeguards for moving parts on machinery. Inspectors identified unsafe practices related to powered industrial trucks, including allowing employees to work under a load held aloft by the vehicle, exposing them to crushed-by hazards. OSHA also discovered electrical safety hazards involving cabinets that were not closed properly to prevent contact with energized wires and using damaged electrical cables. In total, OSHA cited the company for 12 serious violations and has proposed penalties of $272,250.

To view current citations, visit

Hussmann Corp. employs about 5,000 workers worldwide and 580 at its headquarters in Bridgeton. The company’s products include refrigerated and non-refrigerated display merchandisers, specialty display cases, self-contained display cases, LED lighting, glass doors and lids, refrigeration systems and other related products.

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iStock_000004803357XSmallThe Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has updated its scheduled publication date for the “Electronic Logging Devices and Hours of Service Supporting Documents (MAP-21)” final rule.

Based on the Supplemental Significant Rulemaking Report, released on February 27, 2015, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) now anticipates the Electronic Logging Devices (ELD) final rule to appear in the Federal Register on September 30, 2015. This was the date originally announced in November 2014, but the February 2015 edition of the DOT significant rulemakings indicated a date of November 9, 2015. However, FMCSA has since provided a supplemental version of the February report, reverting the date back to September 30, 2015.

The proposal would require all drivers who presently complete logs to switch over to ELDs, update the technical requirements related to electronic logs, implement data communication protocols that would allow a driver to send his/her electronic log to an officer, and provide rules on the retention of supporting documents.

According to the proposal, all drivers who presently use paper logs would be required to switch to an ELD two (2) years after the final rule is published. The only exception is for drivers who only have to complete a log eight days (or less), within the last 30 days.

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Alliance Tubular Products faces $139,800 in fines for serious safety violations

iStock_000003526780XSmallALLIANCE, Ohio – Twice in a year, Alliance Tubular Products LLC has put workers at risk of amputation and other serious injury by allowing dangerous machinery to operate unsafely. A July 2014 OSHA inspection found three repeated and four serious violations, with fines of $139,800 at the high-end industrial steel tubing manufacturer’s location in Alliance. The company was also placed in OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program for its failure to address safety violations.

“Alliance Tubular was well aware of the dangers these machines posed to workers and failed to implement the proper protective procedures,” said Brigitte Frank, OSHA’s acting area director in Cleveland. “Each year, thousands of workers are injured by dangerous machinery. These types of violations are among the most frequently cited by OSHA and often result in death or permanent disability.”

OSHA issued three repeated citations after the agency found workers were exposed to operating machinery parts on weld mills and other industrial machines at the plant because safety mechanisms were not properly installed.

OSHA cited similar violations at the company’s facility in Darlington, Pennsylvania, in 2014 and at the Alliance facility in 2012. OSHA issues repeated 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.

Inspectors also noted four serious violations at Alliance Tubular that involved lack of procedures to prevent unintentional operation of machinery during maintenance and the use of railings that were not rated for the platforms on which they were installed. An OSHA violation is serious if death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard an employer knew or should have known exists.

View the current citations at

Alliance Tubular is a subsidiary of , headquartered in Wexford, Pennsylvania. PTC Alliance Corp. employs 2,100 workers companywide, with 247 at the Alliance facility.

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Michigan Shipyard receives $243K in fines, 18 safety violations

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAESCANABA, Michigan – Once again, workers were exposed to dangerous amputation hazards while operating press brakes, which cut large metal pieces weighing up to 450 tons, because safety mechanisms were not in place at Basic Marine Inc. In the past six years, OSHA inspectors have found similar hazards three times at the Escanaba-based shipyard and boat fabricating facility where a worker’s arm was amputated in 2008.

An August 2014 follow-up inspection at Basic Marine produced penalties of $242,940 for five repeated, three willful and 10 serious safety violations, including fall and respiratory hazards. The company has also been placed in the agency’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program.

“Basic Marine continues to maintain an environment where employees are blamed if they’re injured by dangerous machinery, and it fosters a culture where safety precautions are considered unnecessary,” said Larry Johnson, area director of OSHA’s Lansing Area Office. “Even when workers are harmed, the company is reluctant to re-evaluate its safety and health programs, and that’s wholly unacceptable.”

Three willful violations were assessed as workers were exposed to struck-by hazards, machine hazards and falls and trips from unguarded manholes and unprotected edges. In 2013, fatal falls, slips or trips took the lives of 699 workers, with falls to a lower level accounting for 574 of those fatalities. Fall and machine hazards are the most frequently cited OSHA standards.

OSHA also found repeated violations of respiratory protection standards, such as not requiring employees to wear air-line respirators. Crane slings were not inspected every three months, and inspection records were not maintained, as required. OSHA issues repeated 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. Basic Marine was cited for these hazards in 2011.

In addition, Basic Marine exposed workers to dangerous operating machine parts because it allowed the machines to be used with inadequate protective devices. The company also failed to provide specific written procedures and training for employees on how to prevent unintentional operation of machinery during service and maintenance, such as applying locking devices and turning equipment off. OSHA inspectors also noted unmarked exit signs and the company’s failure to post fire watches during welding activities. A total of 10 serious violations were issued.

View the current citations at

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