OSHA has cited Cardell Cabinetry LLC with 29 safety and health violations and a proposed penalty of $267,434 for failing to remove hazardous levels of combustible dust at the company's fSan Antonio facility. The company earned repeat violations because it was cited in 2012 for failing to remove combustible wood dust, cover electrical boxes and reduce the pressure of compressed air.
Combustible dusts include fine particles, fibers, chips, chunks or flakes that, under certain conditions, can cause a fire or explosion when suspended in air. Types of dusts include metal-for example, aluminum and magnesium-wood, plastic, rubber, coal, flour, sugar and paper.
Combustible wood dust also figured into a failure-to-abate violation; the employer failed to remove combustible wood dust from the parts mill area. The same violation was cited in 2012.
Other violations were cited for failing to provide adequate guarding on machinery; ensure electrical knockouts were covered; provide required personal protective equipment; administer audiometric exams to affected workers; lockout or tagout energy sources; ensure loads were secured and stable to prevent shifting; and provide an effective hearing conservation program.
Additionally the company was cited for failing to annually fit test workers required to wear respirators.
"The sizable penalties proposed here reflect the severity of the various hazardous conditions found at this facility, including the accumulation of combustible dust that can lead to a needless catastrophic incident," said Kelly C. Knighton, director of OSHA's San Antonio Area Office. "The fact that such an incident has not occurred does not absolve Cardell Cabinetry of its responsibility to find and eliminate hazards that could endanger workers' lives."
Additional information and resources for preventing and minimizing the effects of combustible dust fires and explosions is available at https://www.osha.gov/dsg/combustibledust/guidance.html.
Cardell Cabinetry specializes in kitchen cabinet manufacturing and employs about 1,100 workers.