The opioid epidemic’s toll on the U.S. workforce, retaliation against an undocumented worker leads to his arrest and federal worker safety agencies get a look at what could be their budgets next year. These were among the top stories featured on ISHN.com this week.
OSHA has proposed penalties of $1,326,367 to Dowa THT America Inc. – a metal heat treatment company based in Bowling Green, Ohio – after the company exposed employees to atmospheric, thermal, electrical, and mechanical hazards as they performed maintenance inside heat-treating furnaces. In addition to the penalties, the agency placed the company in the Severe Violator Enforcement Program.
The Ethiopian plane crash and its potential ramifications for aviation safety worldwide; tobacco product regulations; and help for employers whose workforces are affected by the opioid crisis. These were among the top stories featured on ISHN.com this week.
OSHA currently has the lowest number of health and safety inspectors in the agency’s 48-year history, according to an analysis of recent government data by the National Employment Law Project.
Conversely, the number of OSHA investigations following work-related fatalities reached a 10-year high, climbing to 929 inspections in FY 2018, up almost 100 from the previous year. This is the single-largest increase in such investigations in a decade.
Early in 2019, OSHA cited a pet food company in Florida for failing to provide protective gear for workers handling corrosive chemicals, a Pennsylvania hair salon for exposing workers to hazardous materials, an Ohio musical instrument factory for exposing workers to toxic copper dust, and a Texas indoor gun range for exposing workers to unsafe levels of lead.
An OSHA investigation into a worker’s burn injuries has led to safety citations issued to the operator of a Chili’s Grill and Bar restaurant in Florida.
The employee of Brinker Florida Inc. suffered the injuries at the company’s Doral location when he fell from an unguarded platform into a hot water bath.
OSHA has cited Nemak USA Inc. – based in Sheboygan, Wisconsin – for exposing workers to metalworking fluids used on aluminum after three employees were diagnosed with occupational hypersensitivity pneumonitis, a debilitating lung disease. The company faces penalties of $26,520 for two serious health violations, the maximum penalty allowed by law.
A social services company is held responsible for an employee’s murder in the same week that a bill to prevent workplace violence in the health care and social service industries is re-introduced in Congress. These were among the top stories featured on ISHN.com this week.
Musical instrument maker exposed workers to copper dust
An Ohio musical instrument manufacturer has been cited by OSHA for exposing workers to copper dust and machine hazards. Conn-Selmer, Inc., is facing penalties of $200,230 for two repeated and seven serious safety and health violations. OSHA inspectors determined that the company exposed workers to copper dust in excess of the recommended permissible exposure levels and machine hazards that included failure to provide machine guarding and adequate controls to minimize exposure.
OSHA has cited Crown Roofing LLC for allegedly exposing employees to fall hazards at two separate residential worksites in Port St. Lucie and Naples, Florida. The Sarasota, Florida-based contractor faces penalties of $265,196.
OSHA initiated the inspections in August and October of 2018, as part of the agency's Regional Emphasis Program for Falls in Construction, after inspectors observed the company's employees working on roofs without fall protection.