Recent OSHA Enforcement Cases
Florida roofing company cited after worker dies after fall
On September 13, 2019, OSHA cited Hough Roofing Inc., based in Palm Bay, Florida, for exposing employees to fall hazards after a worker suffered a fatal injury from a fall while performing roofing activities at a work site in Melbourne, Florida.
OSHA inspectors determined that the employer failed to ensure employees used fall protection, train employees on recognizing fall hazards and on the proper use of a portable ladder, and ensure portable ladders extended three feet above the upper landing. OSHA initiated the inspection in conjunction with the agency’s Regional Emphasis Program for Falls in Construction. The roofing contractor faces $26,142 in penalties.
Ohio roofing contractor cited for exposing employees to fall hazards
OSHA has cited Roofs by Antonio LLC , based in Dayton, Ohio, for exposing employees to fall hazards while they installed shingles on a sloped roof in Cincinnati, Ohio. The company faces penalties of $159,118 for repeatedly violating OSHA’s fall protection standards.
OSHA inspectors noted one willful violation and two serious safety violations during the July 13, 2019, inspection for failing to provide and install a fall protection system, and failing to have a competent person inspect the worksite daily. OSHA has cited Roofs by Antonio for fall protection violations five times since 2014.
Michigan pipeline company to cease operations after citations for trenching hazards
OSHA and Kamphuis Pipeline Company, based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, reached a settlement agreement that the excavating company will cease business operations and pay penalties of $509,071 for willful and serious violations of OSHA’s trenching and excavation standards.
The agreement resolves three OSHA inspections conducted at Kamphuis Pipeline Company worksites in September and October 2017. Investigators found that the company repeatedly exposed employees to trench cave-in hazards while workers installed water metering pits and lines. The company also failed to follow other requirements for working safely in trenches and excavations.
The settlement agreement requires Kamphuis Pipeline Company to pay the penalties, voluntarily terminate all operations, and dissolve the company’s corporate status in South Dakota. Company owner and founder Daniel J. Kamphuis agreed to surrender his North Dakota contractor license.
Tortilla company cited for exposing employees to amputations
OSHA cited Twins Twins LLC for exposing employees to amputations at the company’s facility in Labelle, Florida. The tortilla company faces $81,682 in penalties.
An employee suffered a partial finger amputation while attempting to service a tortilla machine. OSHA inspectors determined that the company failed to establish lockout/tagout procedures to prevent unintentional start-up while performing machine maintenance; provide machine guarding; anchor a miter saw; and notify OSHA within 24 hours of the employee’s hospitalization as required by law. The company also allowed employees to operate powered industrial trucks without training. OSHA has placed Twins Twins LLC in the Severe Violator Enforcement Program.
New York frozen foods packager cited for exposing employees to multiple hazards
OSHA cited Arbre Group Holding, doing business as Holli-Pac Inc., for willful and serious violations of workplace safety and health standards at its Holley, New York, facility. The company, which packages frozen fruits and vegetables for retailers, faces a total of $200,791 in penalties.
OSHA inspectors determined that the company exposed employees to laceration and amputation hazards related to a package filler machine. Parts of the machine did not have doors to prevent employees from contacting operating parts. The access door on another part of the machine lacked an interlock mechanism to stop the machine’s operation when opening the door.
OSHA also cited the company for inadequate lockout/tagout procedures and failing to train employees on hazardous chemicals in the workplace; obtain annual audiograms for employees exposed to excessive noise levels; ensure employees wore appropriate eye and face protection; and repair damaged parts on electrical equipment.
Wisconsin company cited for continually exposing employees to machine hazards
OSHA cited Choice Products USA LLC for continually exposing employees to machine safety hazards at the cookie dough manufacturing facility in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. The company faces $782,526 in penalties, and has been placed in the agency’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program.
OSHA cited Choice Products for five egregious willful violations for failing to implement and train employees on lockout/tagout procedures to prevent unintentional contact with machine operating parts during service and maintenance. Inspectors also determined that the company failed to install machine guarding, and comply with forklift regulations.
OSHA cited Choice Products for exposing employees to similar machine hazards following an October 2016 inspection.
“The company managers developed comprehensive lockout/tagout procedures following the 2016 inspection but failed to implement their own safety program,” said OSHA Acting Regional Administrator William Donovan.
Lloyd Industries to pay $1.04 million to employees terminated for assisting safety investigation
A federal judge in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania awarded $1,047,399 in lost wages and punitive damages to two former employees of a Montgomeryville, Pennsylvania, manufacturer after a jury found the company and its owner fired them in retaliation for their participation in a federal safety investigation.
On April 2, 2019, a jury determined that Lloyd Industries Inc. and owner, William P. Lloyd, illegally fired the employees because they participated in a 2014 inspection by OSHA. The inspection followed an incident in which one of the employees’ co-workers suffered the amputation of three fingers.
The company fired one of the employees after OSHA began an onsite investigation, and fired the second employee shortly after OSHA issued citations and assessed Lloyd Industries with penalties. The acts of retaliation violated Section 11(c) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act). The court’s award of $500,000 in punitive damages is the largest punitive award ever under Section 11(c) of the OSH Act. The court justified the award in light of the defendants’ “deliberative flouting of the act.”