Millions in OSHA fines for one roofing contractor, 2020 is off to a deadly start for the poultry industry and OSHA celebrates its 50th anniversary. These were among the top stories featured on ISHN.com this week.
When OSHA celebrates an anniversary, it does it up big. The federal agency otherwise known as the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) plans to commemorate its 50th anniversary this year with a yearlong celebration of past achievements, current events and future initiatives.
The Williams-Steiger Occupational Safety and Health Act signed into law by President Richard M. Nixon on December 29, 1970 – that one that created OSHA – gave the federal government the authority to set and enforce safety and health standards for most of the country's workers.
A fire and explosions at a refinery in Pennsylvania have resulted in an energy company being cited by OSHA for serious violations related to process safety management (PSM). Philadelphia Energy Solutions faces $132,600 in penalties stemming from the June 2019 incident at its Girard Point Refinery Complex in Philadelphia.
OSHA has cited Milwaukee Valve Company Inc. – based in Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin – for exposing employees to lead and copper dust at rates higher than the permissible exposure levels. The agency has proposed $171,628 in penalties to the industrial valve manufacturing company.
With the new year comes new maximum penalty amounts for safety violations leveled by OSHA, due to an annual adjustment for inflation.
Here are the maximum penalty amounts that may now be assessed by the agency (as of Jan. 15, 2020.)
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit has found a Jacksonville, Florida-based roofing contractor in contempt of court for failing to pay $2,202,049 in penalties assessed by OSHA for safety and health violations at worksites in Florida. The Department of Labor filed a petition with the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals for summary enforcement against Great White Construction Inc., Florida Roofing Experts Inc. and owner Travis Slaughter.
OSHA has cited Mayco Manufacturing LLC – operating as Mayco Industries Inc. – for exposing employees to lead and arsenic in addition to machine, electrical and fall hazards. The Granite City, Illinois, lead smelter faces $223,148 in penalties for 18 serious health violations.
The inspection occurred after OSHA received a report that employees suffered caustic burns from water mixed with sodium hydroxide used to extinguish a fire.
OSHA has issued an updated National Emphasis Program (NEP) that signifies the agency’s intent to focus inspections on identifying amputation hazards in manufacturing industry facilities. The NEP, which was first issued in 2015, specifically targets industrial and manufacturing workplaces where employees are injured by unguarded or improperly guarded machinery and equipment.
OSHA has cited Wright Metal Products Crates LLC – based in South Bend, Indiana, and operating as WMP Crates – for exposing employees to amputation, chemical and other safety hazards at a worksite in Lavonia, Georgia. The company faces $195,034 in penalties.
OSHA’s fall protection standard was the No. 1 most-frequently cited agency standard in fiscal year 2019. Falls are among the most common causes of serious work related injuries and deaths. Employers must set up the work place to prevent employees from falling off of overhead platforms, elevated work stations or into holes in the floor and walls.
Among the articles in the January 2020 issue of ISHN Magazine, we review the most violated OSHA standards, Part 2 of Larry Wilson's 'Rethinking Traditional Safety' column series, insight from safety experts, and much more.