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OSHA has "no tolerance" for company's follow-up failures (2/25)



September 2010 must have seemed a lot like November 2009 for FABCO Equipment Co., Inc. of Albertville, Ala.

An OSHA investigation took place at its facility during both months, and on the follow-up visit, the company was cited for failing to fix a hazard that investigators had identified on the previous visit.

FABCO faces 19 safety and health citations with penalties totaling $71,764.

OSHA issued FABCO one failure-to-abate health citation with a proposed penalty of $7,700 alleging that the company failed to train employees in using and handling hazardous chemicals – a problem pointed out to the company earlier.

"This employer has continued to endanger its workers by failing to correct hazardous conditions," said Roberto Sanchez, OSHA's area director in Birmingham. "OSHA has no tolerance for this type of behavior."

The agency also issued FABCO four repeat safety and health citations with $24,794 in fines. The safety citations allege a lack of machine guarding and an electrical deficiency. The health citations allege a failure to provide medical evaluations for employees wearing respiratory protection, and not certifying that a proper hazard assessment had been performed and proper protective equipment identified.

Additionally, four serious safety citations allege that FABCO failed to develop and utilize lockout/tagout procedures to prevent accidental machinery start-up, allowed improper use of forklift equipment and permitted two electrical deficiencies. Seven health citations were issued alleging a failure to implement sound engineering controls for overexposure to noise; implement a hearing conservation program; protect employees from hazards associated with exposure to a range of particulates; provide proper personal protection during blasting operations; train employees who wear respirators; have a hazard communications program; and label hazardous chemical containers. Penalties for the serious violations total $39,270.

The company also received three other-than-serious health citations with no proposed penalties for not obtaining a written medical recommendation for employees wearing respirators, failing to conduct initial monitoring for potential exposure to hexavalent chromium and a deficiency in the bloodborne pathogen program.

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