Despite OSHA citations and a formal agreement, La. co. continues to jeopardize workers
U.S. Minerals cited for confined space, LOTO hazards
OSHA has cited U.S. Minerals LLC with 11 safety and health violations following a September 2013 inspection at the company’s Harvey, La. facility – but that wasn’t the agency’s first visit to one of the company’s facilities.
OSHA conducted an inspection in June 2010 issued 18 serious, 10 repeat and two other-than-serious violations with fines totaling $118,800. The employer contested the citations, and a formal settlement agreement was reached on Aug. 20, 2012.
Based on the most recent inspection, the formal agreement doesn’t seem to have brought about many safety-related changes at the company.
High noise levels, no hearing protection
The manufacturer of abrasive blasting and roofing materials was cited for failing to train and protect workers when entering hazardous confined spaces, implement safe lockout/tagout procedures when maintaining equipment, provide required protection for workers exposed to dangerously high noise levels and ensure forklift operators knew how to work safely.
Confined space hazards among the serious ones
Some of the serious violations include failing to provide an adequate retrieval system; training; evaluate prospective rescuer's competency level; and annually review the confined space entry program. For employees exposed to high noise levels, serious violations include failing to train workers on the hearing conservation program and ensure workers had a choice of suitable hearing protectors. The remaining serious violations include failing to provide adequate forklift training and certification, remove unsafe forklifts from service and ensure adequate egress from the facility.
One repeat violation was issued for failing to conduct annual inspections of the company's lockout-tagout procedures.
"U.S. Minerals continues to jeopardize the safety and health of its workers by failing to fix these problems," said Dorinda Folse, OSHA's area director in Baton Rouge.
U.S. Minerals LLC, with headquarters in Dyer, Ind., employs about 60 workers and operates other plants in Baldwin and Coffeen, Ill., and Galveston, Texas.