OSHA's Houston North area office began its investigation April 23 in response to a complaint, and subsequently learned that an employee's arm had been amputated in a mechanical power press.
In response to the OSHA investigation, Goodman Manufacturing took immediate steps to safeguard workers and has invested more than $2 million to improve equipment and processes for the long-term safety of its employees, according to an OSHA statement. OSHA reduced its original proposed penalty of $469,700 to $277,000, acknowledging the company's positive steps.
The company, which employs about 3,100 workers at its two Houston facilities known as the "Cooling Plant" and "Furnace Plant," was cited with 62 alleged serious, 11 alleged repeat and 10 alleged other violations of safety standards.
Alleged serious violations included failure to follow lockout/tagout procedures to ensure that machinery is not accidentally energized during repair or maintenance operations; failure to provide training on powered industrial trucks; failure to inspect the mechanical power press; not providing personal protective equipment; not providing a means of egress, and improper storage of flammable and combustible liquids.
Alleged repeat violations included failure to provide medical evaluations for respiratory protection, inadequate respiratory protection and unguarded electrical devices.
Goodman Manufacturing has begun correcting all citation items and agreed to establish an effective safety and health program with sufficient resources for the effort, including a full time certified safety and health professional. The company also will strengthen employee training and will conduct comprehensive safety and health audits at each of the facilities. A comprehensive energy control program will be established to fully comply with OSHA lockout/tagout standards.
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