A chemical blending facility in Columbus, Ohio has been cited by OSHA for safety violations that include failing to protect workers from electrical hazards to not having an effective lockout/tagout program.

As a result of a December 2010 inspection, Howard Industries was issued 23 violations, including 18 serious and 2 repeat, with proposed penalties totaling $71,280.

"Failing to provide employees with training and personal protective equipment to guard against electrical hazards creates an unnecessary safety risk," said Deborah Zubaty, OSHA's area director in Columbus. "Employers are responsible for knowing what hazards exist in their facilities and must take appropriate precautions by following OSHA standards to ensure that workers are not exposed to such risks."

The two repeat citations were for failing to ensure that electrical conductor boxes, which have the potential to create a shock hazard, were properly closed. The company was cited with the same violation in March 2010.

The company was issued 18 serious citations with proposed penalties of $56,760 for failing to install handrails where required; mark doors as exit routes; provide written procedures for lockout and tagout of equipment with multiple energy sources; remove forklifts with known safety issues from service; use weather-safe electrical boxes; train workers in safe work practices regarding specific hazards associated with electrical energy; and require workers to use personal protective equipment to protect against electrical hazards. Additionally, the company was cited for modifying a forklift used to tow trailers and for misusing flexible cords, cables and attachment plugs.

Three other-than-serious citations with proposed penalties of $1,320 were issued for failing to properly record and adequately describe injuries in the OSHA 300 log, and to mark floor load capacity for a storage area.