OSHA PENALTY BOX: A summary of recent fines/citations
Proposed penalties: $320,500 (issued 1/30/09)
Paper mill investigated after employee complaints was charged with 52 alleged serious and repeat safety violations. Citations address a broad cross-section of chemical, electrical, mechanical, fire and fall hazards as well as crushing hazards posed by the deteriorating condition of the mill building. OSHA says its inspection found numerous instances throughout the building of extensive rust, corrosion and physical damage that compromised its structural stability.
Sunfield Inc., Hebron, Ohio
Proposed penalties: $302,000 (issued 2/9/09)
OSHA issued company three willful and 21 serious citations and one repeat citation. Alleged violations include failure to ensure proper procedures were utilized for the control of hazardous energy during press machine maintenance and repairs; machine guarding violations; not providing eye protection or eye flushing stations; improper forklift operations; excessive air pressure for machinery cleaning operations; and improper electrical safety practices.
Certified Painting Co. Inc., Alsip, Ill.
Proposed penalties: $225,000 (issued 1/29/09)
OSHA charged company with eight willful and nine serious safety violations. A July 2008 inspection alleged failure to: have proper carbon monoxide monitoring devices; to provide and ensure workers were using personal protective clothing; to provide required hygiene facilities and ensure workers conducted required hygiene practices after possible exposure to lead or other hazardous materials; and to provide U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets and have a lifesaving skiff immediately available at locations.
O.C.E. Warehouse and Distribution Center, Edison, N.J.
Proposed penalties: $123,100 (issued 2/9/09)
OSHA began an inspection in July 2008 after the Edison New Jersey Department of Public Safety – Division of Fire reported unsafe conditions. The company was cited for two willful violations, including failure to continuously keep exit routes free of obstructions or impediments and for storing materials in damaged racks. Twelve serious citations included allegations of failure to properly identify exit doors, supply employees with PPE, remove defective forklift trucks and provide adequate training.
Anderson Construction, Papillion, Neb.
Proposed penalties: $111,600 (issued 1/23/09)
After a trench collapse injured five workers, an OSHA investigation found three alleged willful and six alleged serious safety violations. Willful violations include failure to provide a safe means of access to the trench, leaving the excavated spoil pile on the trench edge, and failure to provide cave-in protection. Serious violations stem from failure to properly instruct employees about worksite hazards, chemicals, and confined space testing; and improper use of a ladder and trench shoring equipment.
Tippins Contracting Co., Marietta, Ga.
Proposed penalties: $108,000 (issued 2/3/09)
As a result of inspections conducted in August and October 2008, OSHA cited the construction company for two willful citations for allegedly failing to provide cave-in protection for employees working in trenches. Five serious citations involved damaged ladders, placing excavated material too close to the edge of the trench, using a portable ladder of insufficient height in a trench, and inadequate ladder safety training.
Best Plastering Contractors, El Paso, Texas
Proposed penalties: $106,200 (issued 1/28/09)
Construction contractor was cited for four willful and three serious alleged violations following an OSHA investigation that was initiated after agency inspectors witnessed employees working on a scaffold without using fall protection equipment. Willful citations involved failing to fully plank working levels of the scaffold, to set up the scaffold on adequate foundation, to supply workers with a ladder or other safe access to the scaffold working levels, and to provide guardrails for employees working on upper levels of the scaffold.
Exide Technologies, Lauride, Pa.
Proposed penalties: $102,000 (issued 2/2/09)
An OSHA inspection initiated in August 2008 after a complaint resulted in citations for seven repeat, 19 serious and 10 other-than-serious alleged violations. Repeat violations stemmed from employee exposure to lead, incomplete respirator fit test records, the use of defective industrial trucks, and a deficient cadmium compliance program. Serious violations included the use of defective machinery, failure to use PPE, unguarded machinery, and more.