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OSHA enforcement surge continues with six-figure fines (7/29)

July 29, 2010
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OSHA has proposed $112,000 in fines against Home Depot USA Inc., chiefly for failing to correct hazards previously cited at the retail chain's West Nyack, N.Y., store.

OSHA cited the store in September 2008 for failing to provide suitable emergency drenching facilities for employees who might be splashed with hazardous chemicals, and for not providing required information and training to employees whose duties involve potential exposure to methylene chloride.

The case was settled in February 2009 and the company was expected to submit proof of abatement to OSHA. When Home Depot failed to respond to multiple requests for the information, OSHA began a follow-up inspection.

The new inspection found that workers in the store's painting and plumbing departments still lacked suitable emergency drenching facilities and methylene chloride information and training.

These uncorrected conditions prompted OSHA to issue Home Depot two notices of failure to abate, carrying $82,500 in proposed fines. OSHA issues notices of failure to abate when an employer fails to correct previously cited hazards.

The follow-up inspection also found a similar hazard, lack of quick drenching facilities, for workers in the cleaning supply department and the garden department's pool supply area. For this recurring hazard, OSHA issued the store one repeat citation with a $25,000 fine.



OSHA has cited Jarden Home Brands with two alleged willful and 12 alleged serious violations following a safety inspection at the company's worksite in Greenville. Penalties total $197,500.

OSHA's Dallas Area Office began its inspection Jan. 27 at the company's facility on Industrial Boulevard after receiving a referral alleging workers were being exposed to safety hazards. Willful violations were issued for failing to develop specific procedures to protect workers from the unexpected release of electrical energy, and for failing to provide adequate machine guarding for employees working around rotating shafts.

The serious violations included failing to provide fall protection equipment, training in lockout/tagout procedures of energy sources, training in the use of forklift trucks, and ensuring electrical equipment was approved for use in hazardous locations.

Widespread fire, electrical, mechanical and other hazards at a Farmington, Conn., aircraft parts manufacturing plant have resulted in from OSHA.



EDAC Technologies Corp. was cited with 41 alleged serious violations of workplace safety and health standards following a comprehensive OSHA inspection, conducted under a program that targets workplaces with higher than average rates of restricted duty or days away from work due to on-the-job injuries or illnesses. A total $130,050 in proposed fines resulted.

Specifically, OSHA found that workers were exposed to potential fire and explosion hazards from combustible dust collected in an inadequately designed dust collection system; several electrical safety deficiencies, including unguarded or ungrounded live electrical parts and equipment, and workers not trained in electrical safety related work practices; unmarked emergency exits and obstructed exit routes; inadequate precautions against the ignition of flammable vapors; lack of a site-specific lockout/tagout energy program; an unapproved boom attachment on a fork truck; damaged and unmarked lifting slings; an incomplete exposure control program; lack of a respiratory protection program; failure to determine employees' exposure levels to hexavalent chromium; and numerous instances of unguarded moving machine parts.

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