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OSHA Penalty Box: A summary of recent fines/citations

December 3, 2008
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Hunt Refining Co., Sandersville, Miss., and Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Proposed penalties: $357,000 (issued 10/14/08)
Company cited for violations at two of its oil refineries. The Sandersville plant incurred two willful and 35 serious safety citations. Allegations included management’s failure to recognize and evaluate fire and explosion hazards from electrical equipment in the process area. The Tuscaloosa facility received one willful and 23 serious safety citations. Willful violation alleged failure to inspect and test process vessels.

Homeland Builders Inc., Fall River, Mass.
Proposed penalties: $214,800 (issued 10/7/08)
Construction contractor faces charges of three willful, five repeat and eight serious alleged safety violations, primarily for fall-related hazards at a Milford construction site. OSHA started investigating the site after inspectors driving by the site, on two separate occasions, observed employees working without required fall protection on a roof and on the raised forks of a powered industrial truck, exposing them to falls of 13 to 15 feet.

New Process Gear, East Syracuse, N.Y.
Proposed penalties: $145,350 (issued 10/8/08)
Company inspected under an OSHA program that targets workplaces with higher than average injury and illness rates was cited for 65 alleged serious safety violations. Hazards included blocked or impeded exits and aisles; missing or unlit exit signs and inoperable emergency lighting; wet floors; fall hazards from unguarded floor holes, pits, open-sided floors and ladder openings; damaged or deficient ladders; unsecured or damaged compressed gas cylinders; and more.

Precision Plaster Paint & Contracting LLC, Utica, N.Y.
Proposed penalties: $111,000 (issued 10/28/08)
Contractor faces OSHA penalties for three willful, four repeat and five serious alleged violations. OSHA issued willful citations after finding employees exposed to 20 to 27 foot falls while working on a scaffold that was not fully planked, had no ladder to provide safe access and lacked fall protection safeguards. Repeat citations included lack of hard hat protection, a too narrow scaffold platform and a lack of bracing, level footing and mudsills for the scaffold.

Thames Shipyard and Repair Co., New London, Conn.
Proposed penalties: $108,000 (issued 10/20/08)
OSHA inspections uncovered 43 alleged serious safety and health violations at shipyard and repair facility. Alleged violations included electrical hazards, such as inadequate PPE; ungrounded, exposed, damaged or misused electric cords or equipment; no electric safety-related work practices program; and lack of training for the company’s electrician.

International Paper Co., Vicksburg, Miss.
Proposed penalties: $77,000 (issued 11/3/08)
Following an investigation into a May explosion of a recovery boiler that killed one employee and injured 22 others, OSHA has charged the mill with one willful and one serious violation. Violations involve company’s alleged failure to develop written boiler setup and operating procedures.

Baltazar Contractors Inc., Ludlow, Mass.
Proposed penalties: $70,100 (issued 10/16/08)
Contractor has been charged with one willful, one repeat and two serious violations of excavation safety standards at a Marlborough, Mass., sewer installation site. A report of potential unsafe conditions at the worksite prompted an OSHA inspection that found employees working in an excavation more than five feet deep without cave-in protection or a safe means of egress.

Barco Metal Fabrication, Marshfield, Mass.
Proposed penalties: $55,600 (issued 10/27/08)
OSHA has cited steel erection contractor for 14 alleged willful and serious violations following an investigation into a June incident in which an employee fell 20 feet at a Pembroke, Mass., worksite. OSHA’s inspection found employees at the site performing steel erection work at heights of 20 feet without effective fall protection.

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