Confined space hazards among dangers at wind power blade manufacturer (4/26)
April 26, 2011
OSHA has cited wind turbine blade manufacturer LM Wind Power Blades Inc. in Grand Forks, formerly LM Glasfiber Inc., with 11 alleged health and safety violations for exposing workers to unsafe conditions following an OSHA inspection that began in October 2010. The agency has proposed $136,500 in penalties.
"The employer is well aware of OSHA requirements and has continued a pattern of failing to comply with them," said Tom Deutscher, OSHA's area office director in Bismarck. "Despite having been cited for similar infractions in the past, the company continues to place workers in harm's way by allowing hazards to exist."
Two willful violations are failing to ensure that entry supervisors canceled the confined space permit and terminated the entry operation when prohibited conditions were found, and to ensure entry attendants immediately ordered the evacuation of a confined space upon discovery of conditions dangerous to life or health.
Five repeat violations address failing to provide adequate respirators for conditions immediately dangerous to life or health; purge or ventilate the atmospheric hazards within a confined space; prevent employee overexposure to styrene levels exceeding the time, weighted average and ceilings limits; and implement effective engineering controls regarding ventilation of the confined space. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years.
Four serious violations are failing to provide appropriate personal protective equipment, conduct effective confined space monitoring, perform retraining of employees when required and maintain an accurate count of entrants in permit-required confined spaces.