OSHA cites Environmental Remediation and Recovery Inc. after worker dies while cleaning oil residue inside rail car at Mounds, Illinois, facility

DSC00040MOUNDS, Ill. – A U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigation found that Environmental Remediation and Recovery Inc. did not have equipment or trained personnel to rescue a 27-year-old worker promptly who collapsed and later died while cleaning a rail car. OSHA has cited seven willful and 14 serious safety violations, many involving permit-required confined space safety regulations. The company has also been placed in OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program.

OSHA determined that the employee entered a 30,000-gallon rail car on May 20, 2014, and suffered from cardiac arrhythmia. He was unable to exit the rail car on his own. The man had been on the job for about 14 months at the time of the incident.

“Permit-required confined spaces put workers at risk for serious injury and illness from hazards,” said Nick Walters, OSHA’s regional administrator in Chicago. “The employer must ensure that safety equipment, such as retrieval lines and proper respiratory protection, is provided to employees and used each time someone enters a confined space. Each year workers are fatally injured when working in confined spaces.”

Environmental Remediation failed to monitor permit-required confined spaces; allowed entry when atmospheric conditions* were unacceptable; and did not provide personal protective equipment, including self-contained breathing apparatus and respirators. The company also failed to remove defective respirators from use. A confined space is one large enough for workers to enter and perform certain jobs, such as a rail car clean out, but it has limited or restricted means for entry or exit and is not designed for continuous occupancy.

In addition, the company failed to designate trained rescue employees and use a retrieval system attached to the worker to aid in rescue. OSHA cited the company for seven 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.

Additionally, Environmental Remediation failed to comply with respiratory protection requirements, maintain rescue equipment, ensure ventilation equipment was used properly, and provide fall protection for workers at the top of the rail car, which exposed them to falls of 15 feet or more. A total of 14 serious citations were issued for these 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 has proposed fines totaling $188,400. To view the current citations, visit http://www.dol.gov/osha/pdf/Environmental-Remediation_977916_1118_14.pdf*

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OSHA Form 300In a statement by the Kentucky Labor Cabinet on November 21st, Kentucky will not begin enforcing the new Federal OSHA requirements for reporting workplace injuries and illnesses.  The statement indicates that the Department of Workplace Standards is reviewing OSHA’s Final Rule to determine what action may be necessary, but that OSHA’s September 18th rule will not go into effect in Kentucky on January 1, 2015.  However, Kentucky will continue to enforce the 803 KAR 2:180 which remains in effect in the state. It should be noted that 803 KAR 2:180 is similar in scope to the new OSHA September 18 Final Rule.

See the complete notice below:

Notice Regarding OSHA’s New Recordkeeping and Reporting Final Rule

Updated November 21, 2014

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 OSHA’s September 18 final rule. The Department of Workplace Standards is reviewing OSHA’s September 18 final rule to determine what action may be necessary.

OSHA’s September 18 final rule will not go into effect in Kentucky on January 1, 2015; 803 KAR 2:180 remains in effect in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

The Labor Cabinets encourages employers to monitor www.labor.ky.gov for additional information as it becomes available. Questions can be directed to the Office of Standards Interpretation and Development at (502) 564-3070.

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Rapidly growing occupational safety consulting company has an immediate need for a quick starter degreed and experienced in the safety field. 

iStock_000013114436 ASH Hiring ManSafety Consultant
Advanced Safety & Health, LLC is a growing Occupational Safety Consulting company based in Louisville, Kentucky.  We are dedicated to providing high quality professional safety consulting and training services to our vastly diverse client base. We provide onsite safety support services, training and consulting for large- and small-scale operations, conduct OSHA-related audits, injury prevention programs, safety program management support, develop written programs and procedures, provide incident investigations and trending, provide customized training, job safety analysis, risk assessments, and many other related services for both short-term and ongoing contract engagements.

We are currently searching for an individual who is passionate about safety management and training practices, and is able to work with a wide array of organizations and people, including manufacturing, utilities, municipalities, distribution, construction, maritime, and service sectors.

What You’ll Do
The ideal Safety Consultant for Advanced Safety & Health will be located in the Louisville, Kentucky area and be willing to travel as the job requires.  You must be able to conduct onsite safety management support, risk assessments, and training for our growing client base throughout the United States, but primarily focused in Kentucky, Southern Indiana, and Ohio areas.

Additionally, you will need to be able to:

  • Conduct full day training sessions that may involve multiple consecutive days
  • Conduct intense multi-day onsite risk evaluation surveys and compile detailed reports and recommendations
  • Assist clients with the development and implementation of safety polices, programs, and procedures specific to each account and loss exposure
  • Provide advanced risk management and consultative services to assigned clients
  • Maintain and demonstrate safety management and expertise in areas such as OSHA, MSHA, injury prevention, workers’ compensation,  and fleet safety
  • Develop, coordinate, and conduct safety/risk management seminars and training programs for accounts to promote OSHA compliance awareness and reduce work-related injury frequency and severity
  • Develop and execute service proposals and plans to large accounts

What It Takes

  • Bachelor’s Degree required, Master’s Degree preferred
  • Degree must have emphasis in Occupational Safety & Health, Engineering, Management, or Loss Control
  • At least five plus years of safety consulting or safety management work experience
  • High level of independence, organization, and self-motivation
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to effectively interact with a diverse customer base
  • Experience in coordinating and servicing large or multi-location accounts preferred
  • Intimate knowledge, understanding, and implementation of OSHA, ANSI, NFPA Standards, and DOT Regulations
  • High level of verbal and written communication skills
  • Ability to provide effective training in a variety of hands-on and classroom type settings
  • Proficiency in basic Microsoft computer programs such as Word, PowerPoint, and Excel.
  • Valid driver’s license, acceptable motor vehicle record, and dependable transportation for travel, including overnight travel
  • Safety designations such as CSP preferred, or willingness to pursue professional designation(s)
  • A proficiency in Mine Safety and Health or Fleet Safety could be an added plus, but not required.

What You’ll Receive

Advanced Safety & Health offers all full-time employees a benefit package that includes:

  • Competitive Compensation with potential for pay bonuses
  • Group Medical, Dental, and Vision
  • SIMPLE retirement plan with employer contribution
  • Paid Vacation and Holidays

What You Need To Do

Submit your resume, with a cover letter explaining why you should be part of our growing team, your special qualities, and salary expectations to info@advancedsafetyhealth.com.  Please put Louisville Safety Consultant in the email heading.

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Citation adds to penalties facing retail chain across nation

iStock_000017378933XSmallWATAUGA, Texas – National discount chain Dollar Tree Stores Inc. has been cited by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration for willfully and repeatedly exposing workers to serious hazards at its store in Watauga. Across the nation, Dollar Tree Stores have been cited for more than 200 safety and health violations since 2009. Proposed penalties for the latest inspection total $262,500.

“In the past five months, OSHA has issued more than $800,000 in fines to Dollar Tree Stores for the same or similar violations,” said Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health. “This latest incident yet again demonstrates the company’s deliberate and ongoing refusal to effectively address hazards that have been cited multiple times at their stores across the country. OSHA will not tolerate such blatant disregard for worker safety.”

At the Watauga store, two willful violations, with a penalty of $130,500, were cited for failing to ensure exit doors were kept clear and unobstructed and that products were stored in a stable and secure manner.

Four repeat violations, carrying a penalty of $132,000, were cited for failing to keep passageways clean and clear and to secure compressed gas cylinders and prevent blocking of portable fire extinguishers and electrical panels.

Jack Rector, OSHA’s area director in Fort Worth, said, “Allowing boxes weighing up to 45 pounds to be haphazardly stacked in the storage room exposes workers to crushing injuries. Failing to correct this violation and other hazards, including blocked exits, puts worker safety in jeopardy – and that is unacceptable.”

OSHA has received complaints from Dollar Tree Stores employees in 26 states since 2009, and it has cited the company for 234 safety violations in that time period. This includes willful violations found during 2014 inspections in Delaware, Massachusetts and Montana.

Dollar Tree Stores, headquartered in Chesapeake, Virginia, employs approximately 17,600 full-time and 69,800 part-time workers. OSHA began investigating the Watauga store after receiving a complaint about dangerous conditions.

The citations can be viewed at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/DollarTreestoresInc_1907_967705.pdf.

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iStock_000020632383XSmall Construction TrenchHANOVER, PennsylvaniaIn April 2013, OSHA cited C & G, a Hanover plumbing, heating and air conditioning contractor, with four safety violations after a trench collapse at a work site in Hanover. Though there were no injuries in the collapse, investigators found employees working in an unprotected trench that was 7-feet deep.

Despite the employer’s heightened awareness of trenching safety requirements, an August 2014 complaint investigation by OSHA found that C & G again exposed workers to potentially deadly trenching hazards while they performed underground utility work at a residence in Hanover. Investigators observed an employee working at the bottom of an unprotected trench that was 13-feet deep. They also observed a trench that was not widened with approved methods, such as benching or sloping, and determined that the employer did not provide any physical protection, such as trench shields or boxes.

“An unprotected trench can quickly become a grave without the proper safeguards in place. This is why it is critical for employers in this industry to ensure that trenching safeguards are in place,” said Kevin Kilp, director of OSHA’s Harrisburg Area Office. “This employer’s history shows that it is fully aware of the dangers of trenching and excavation, yet they continue to put their worker’s lives at risk.”

C & G was placed in OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program due to four willful violations related to trenching hazards, including:

  • Allowing employees to work in a trench without protection from a cave-in or an adequate protective system.
  • Failure to protect employees from hazards by ensuring unsafe excavation materials were kept at least 2 feet back from the excavation’s edge.
  • Failure to instruct employees in the recognition and avoidance of unsafe conditions while performing trenching and excavation work.
  • Failure to have a competent person conduct an investigation of the excavation.

These violations carry a $61,600 penalty. A willful violation is one in which an employer intentionally and knowingly commits a violation with plain indifference to the law.

Additionally, the employer did not ensure workers used a protective helmet while in a trench. This serious violation carries a penalty of $3,080. 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.

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OSHA proposes more than $102K in fines

Production of white meatJACK, Alabama – Wayne Farms LLC, which makes products under brand names Dutch Quality House and Platinum Harvest, has been cited for exposing workers to dangerous machinery, fall and musculoskeletal disorder hazards. OSHA issued 11 citations to the poultry processing plant in Jack, including nine serious, one repeat, and one other-than serious violation. The investigation was initiated after the agency received a complaint from the Southern Poverty Law Center. Proposed penalties total $102,600.

“OSHA found that workers in this plant were exposed to safety and musculoskeletal hazards and suffered serious injuries as a result. The outcome of this investigation deepened our concern about musculoskeletal hazards in poultry plants, where employees are at increased risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome and other disorders that affect the nerves, muscles and tendons,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. “These types of injuries are preventable by implementing appropriate engineering and administrative controls in the workplace, and when they occur, they must be treated early with appropriate medical care to prevent the illness from progressing. However, in this plant, OSHA found workers were often required to seek assistance from the company’s on-site nurse many times before they were referred to a physician.”

“Our investigation revealed that employees suffered musculoskeletal injuries, and Wayne Farms failed to record those injuries and properly manage the medical treatment of injured employees at the facility,” said Joseph Roesler, OSHA’s area director in Mobile. “By failing to report injuries, failing to refer employees to physicians and discouraging employees from seeking medical treatment, Wayne Farms effectively concealed the extent to which these poultry plant workers were suffering work-related injuries and illnesses. And as a result, it reported an artificially lower injury and illness rate.”

One repeat violation, with a penalty of $38,500, was cited for the employer’s failure to protect workers from moving parts of a machine during servicing and maintenance work. In this instance, the employer lacked lockout/tagout procedures for maintaining a plastic strapping machine, something it failed to do following a previous OSHA inspection in February 2012 at the company’s Enterprise, Alabama, facility. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years.

Seven serious violations, carrying penalties of $49,000, involve exposing workers to serious safety hazards, including unguarded machines, slippery floors and fall hazards. In addition, OSHA issued two more serious general duty clause citations for musculoskeletal disorder hazards with penalties of $14,000. One general duty clause citation was issued for exposing employees on the debone line to hazards while performing prolonged, repetitive, forceful tasks, often while using awkward postures. OSHA issued the second general duty citation for exposing employees to the stressors of repetitive lifting and carrying of totes filled with chicken that can weigh in excess of 75 pounds. 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.

Another violation, with a $1,100 penalty, was cited for failing to record serious work-related injuries on OSHA’s 300 form for tracking work-related injuries and illnesses, as required.

Since 1994, OSHA has conducted 33 inspections at Wayne Farms facilities in Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi. The most recent inspection at the Jack plant was conducted in June 2011 when the company was cited for record-keeping violations.

Under appropriate circumstances, OSHA uses the general duty clause (section 5(a)(1) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970) when it does not have a specific standard addressing a workplace hazard. Under this provision, an employer can be cited if it does not furnish each of its employees’ employment and a place of employment free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm.

Wayne Farms is the sixth largest vertically integrated poultry producer in the United States. Its corporate office, based in Oakwood, Georgia, and its Jack plant have a combined estimated 1,115 employees. The company employs approximately 9,800 additional workers in its nine integrated complexes, comprised of nine hatcheries, eight feed mills, nine slaughter processing plants and two further processing plants. Wayne Farms’ plants are located in Albertville, Alabama; Decatur, Alabama; Dothan, Alabama; Enterprise, Alabama; Union Springs, Alabama; Danville, Arkansas; Laurel, Mississippi; Dobson, North Carolina; and Pendergrass, Georgia.

The current citations are available at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/WayneFarms_975114_1028_14.pdf.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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