In further proof that OSHA enforcement is on the rise, the agency cited seven companies a combined $911,500 in penalties during the week of July 17 to 24.

On July 24, OSHA proposed $314,000 in fines against Dana Container Inc. of Summit, Ill., for alleged willful, serious and repeat violations of federal workplace safety standards.

As a result of a safety and health inspection, OSHA cited the company for three willful violations with a proposed penalty of $210,000. The willful citations address the company's alleged failure to have adequate written programs and permits required for working in confined spaces and not insuring proper working conditions before allowing workers to enter those confined spaces.

The company also was cited for 16 serious violations with proposed penalties of $86,500. Some of the citations allege the company failed to provide proper training and procedures on uses of personal protective equipment such as respirators; review permit space entry operations and permit required confined space programs; install guardrails on elevated runways; provide proper identification and warnings on hazardous material tanks; and provide an adequate hazard communication program.

On July 23, OSHA cited PSEG Power LLC for workplace safety and health hazards resulting in $57,500 in penalties.

On July 22, OSHA proposed more than $109,000 in fines against a Plattsburgh, N.Y., manufacturer for recurring hazards.

On July 21, OSHA proposed more than $100,000 in fines against a Concord, N.H., steam plant following a fire that injured one worker.

On July 20, OSHA proposed $136,000 against a water and sewer contractor for safety violations at Cobb County, Ga., trench site; and fall hazards at a Forest Hills, N.Y., worksite lead to more than $120,000 in OSHA fines for a Long Island contractor.

On July 17, OSHA levied $75,000 in proposed penalties to MasTec for trenching violations in Madison, Wisc.

The blog OSHA Underground recently commented: “The young guns (OSHA inspectors) are in competition with us oldbies. They are showing how tough they are with the penalties.”