Unguarded ripsaws and tripping hazards at Florida rehab center
A Florida rehabilitation center that offers assistance to people struggling with drug addiction and alcoholism has been exposing its workers to a variety of hazards, according to an OSHA investigation.
As a result, Teen Challenge of Florida Inc. has been cited for 25 safety and health violations following an inspection of the company's facilities in Pensacola. OSHA initiated the July 2013 inspection after receiving a complaint alleging safety and health hazards. Proposed penalties total $228,600.
Lack of machine guarding, eyewashes
Three willful violations involve the employer exposing workers to amputations hazards by not providing machine guarding on the hand-fed ripsaws, the cutting heads of the routers and the abrasive wheels on the grinding wheel.
Eighteen serious safety and health violations include failing to: provide workers first aid training in case of an emergency; provide a suitable eyewash facility; close unused openings in boxes, raceways, cabinets and equipment cases; have uniform step heights on a standard stairway and keep exit routes unobstructed. Workers were also exposed to numerous instances where the machines had no guarding, several electrical deficiencies were present and various tripping hazards were observed.
Uncertified forklife operators
Four other-than-serious violations were also cited for the company's failure to: illuminate exit signs; certify forklift operators as competent to operate powered industrial trucks safely; establish a respiratory protection program; and have forklift nameplates and markings in place and in legible condition.
Teen Challenge is an international company with facilities in five states. According to the company's website, its mission is "To offer life transformation to individuals through Christ-centered programs"
The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request a conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety & Health Review Commission.