Falls, fines and fires
An OSHA news round-up
OSHA has established a strategic partnership with the Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters and W.E. O'Neil Construction Co. to reduce workers' exposure to hazards and the likelihood of serious injuries. The Illinois On-Site Consultation Program of the Illinois Department of Labor is also participating in the partnership, which covers the University of Chicago William Eckert Research Center Project.
OSHA spokesman Gary Anderson said the partnership is voluntary and will focus on identifying and controlling hazards and promoting a cooperative relationship between labor, unions and management during the construction of the research center -- a four-story, $170 million project, scheduled to be completed in 2015.
The W.E. O'Neil Construction Co., general contractor on the project, will develop a site- specific safety program and require all prime contractors on the project to provide on-site safety representatives, conduct regular safety audits, attend a specific safety orientation given by O'Neil personnel and conduct daily huddle and safety meetings to share safety concerns and implement best practices.
No hazcom program at rug manufacturer
OSHA has cited Garland Sales Inc. of Georgia with 15 serious safety violations after as inspection of the company's Dalton facility conducted as a part of the agency's national emphasis program on amputations. Proposed penalties total $73,000.
Garland was cited for workers' exposure to chemical hazards by not developing or implementing a written hazard communication program prior to using chemicals, electrical shock hazards due to improperly marked and assembled electrical control panels, caught-in and struck-by hazards related to unguarded and improperly secured machinery and tripping and burn hazards due to obstructed fire extinguishers.
Additional citations were issued for failing to establish or implement a lockout/tagout program with machine-specific procedures and allowing workers to operate forklifts without certifying they were properly trained and evaluated.
Garland Sales Inc. manufactures rugs and carpets and employs more than 300 workers.
Fire sends seven workers to hospital
A November 2012 fire that injured seven workers has resulted in 21 serious violations against AmeriGas Propane L.P. in Conroe, Texas.
OSHA initiated its inspection after the blaze, which required three workers to be hospitalized and four workers to be treated and released. The Conroe plant inspection was expanded to include the national emphasis program on Process Safety Management Covered Chemical Facilities. Proposed penalties total $105,000.
The serious violations cited under the process safety management standard include failing to compile process safety information for safety systems, such as emergency shutdowns; ensure equipment complies with recognized and good engineering practices, such as relief systems; address various elements of a process safety hazards analysis, including the use of a methodology appropriate to the complexity of the process, human factors, facility siting and addressing action items or recommendations in a timely manner; inspect and test equipment, including vessels and piping and identify safeguards; and perform the lockout/tagout of equipment and processes and provide training for employees in the use of lockout/tagout.
AmeriGas supplies propane throughout the U.S. and employs more than 8,000 people.
Repeat hazards at a Maine sawmill
OSHA has cited sawmill NC Hunt Inc. for three alleged repeat violations and seven serious violations of workplace safety standards. The facility in Jefferson faces a total of $79,310 in proposed fines following an inspection by OSHA's Augusta office begun in December 2012.
The repeat violations include not using energy control procedures to prevent employees from being struck by a logging carriage and for a lack of barriers and warning signage to prevent entry to the logging carriage path and elevated walkways that lacked required guardrails. Similar violations were cited in 2009.
The serious violations include using an industrial work truck with a defective emergency brake, lack of machine guarding to prevent employee contact with the moving parts of a saw and a grinder, an ungrounded extension cord and incomplete energy control procedures.
Fall hazards at roofing company
Florida-based Collis Roofing Inc. faces $213,000 in fines after being issued three willful and one serious safety violation for exposing workers to fall and other hazards while they were performing roofing work at three residential sites in Jacksonville, Oviedo and Palm Harbor. The inspections were initiated in November 2012 after OSHA inspectors observed employees without fall protection. These inspections were all part of the agency's local emphasis program on fall hazards in construction.
Three willful violations, with $210,000 in penalties, involve the employer allowing employees to work on elevated surfaces without fall protection. One serious violation, with a $3,300 penalty, was also cited for failing to inspect a fall harness that had previously been involved in an impact event.
OSHA has created a fall prevention Web page at http://www.osha.gov/stopfalls with detailed information in English and Spanish on fall protection standards. The page offers fact sheets, posters and videos that vividly illustrate various fall hazards and appropriate preventive measures.