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Unlucky 13 for Ohio airport

December 17, 2010
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The Mansfield-Lahm Regional Airport in Ohio has been cited for 13 safety violations by OSHA, including one for failing to designate an emergency egress route from the traffic control tower.

According to an OSHA press release, the agency issued notices of Unsafe or Unhealthful Working Conditions to the Federal Aviation Administration regional airport for violations that included one serious notice for not providing a diagram of designated emergency egress routes, as required, in the airport traffic control tower.

The OSHA inspection was conducted June 15th, as part of the Airport Air Traffic Control Tower Monitoring Program. In addition to the serious violation, OSHA's inspection cited five repeat and seven other-than-serious violations at the facility.

"The FAA failed to properly ensure this facility is in compliance with established safety procedures and to train workers for emergency actions," said OSHA Area Director Jule Hovi in Toledo. "By ignoring safety procedures and training, the FAA is inviting tragedy into the lives of their workers."

Repeat violations include notices for not ensuring fire stops were used to prevent an unintentional path for smoke and fire, failing to update the facility compliance programs as annually required, failing to implement a hazard communication program in the workplace and not making a facility emergency action plan and fire prevention plan available for review and use by employees. A repeat OSHA notice is issued if the Federal Agency had been cited previously for the same or a substantially similar condition and if OSHA regionwide inspection history for the agency lists a previous notice issued within the past three years. The FAA was previously cited in 2009 for similar violations at other sites in the region.

The seven other-than-serious violations include not properly recording injuries and illness on the OSHA 300 and 301 Logs in a timely manner, failing to providing accurate records for inspectors, failing to maintain material data sheets, failing to implement a facility fire drill training program, and not using proper ladders.

As required by the Occupational Safety and Health Act, Federal agencies must comply with the same safety standards as private sector employers. The federal agency equivalent to a private sector citation is the Notice of Unsafe and Unhealthful Working Conditions (commonly called the Notice). The OSHA Notice is used to inform establishment officials of violations of OSHA standards, alternate standards and 29 CFR citable program elements. OSHA cannot propose monetary penalties against another federal agency for failure to comply with OSHA standards.

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