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March 8, 2013

Top 10 OSHA Fines in February

OSHA reported 21 cases in February, with fines totaling $2.6 million and averaging nearly $124,000 per location. Here's the Top 10 List of individual OSHA fines in February:

Electrical Warning Sign
at ComplianceSigns.com
1. $448,000 - Electrical Violations
  • Cause: Worker electrocuted when the equipment he was working with came in contact with overhead power lines
  • Major Citations: 6 willfuls, including failing to ensure that parts of equipment being operated didn’t come within 10 feet of a power line and exposing workers to electrical shock and electrocution. Company placed into SVEP (Severe Violators Enforcement Program).
2. $309,000 — Whistleblower Violation
  • Cause: Fired worker complained
  • Major Citations: Company allegedly fired railroad conductor in retaliation for reporting injury suffered by train engineer in violation of whistleblower laws
Respiratory Safety Sign
3. $274,500 — Respiratory Hazards (Silica Dust), LOTO, Machine Guarding Violations
  • Cause: Regional emphasis program targeting primary metal industries
  • Major Citations: 3 repeats including exposing workers to silica dusts above recommended exposure levels, machine guarding—unguarded conveyor tail pulleys and LOTO—not applying energy isolating devices to equipment while servicing it. Company placed into SVEP
4. $229,600 — Confined Spaces, Methyl-Ethyl Ketone Violations
  • Cause: Worker inside 18-foot-deep vault manhole overcome by methyl-ethyl ketone exposure
  • Major Citations: 3 willfuls against coatings contractor including lack of safety precautions for confined spaces entry in 6 locations, not performing atmospheric testing before confined spaces entry and failure to control exposure to methyl-ethyl ketone via methods such as ventilation. Contractor placed into SVEP; construction contractor, KCI Construction, also cited for one serious violation—not conducting frequent and regular inspection of job site materials before confined spaces entry.
5. $192,000 — LOTO Violations
  • Cause: On his first day of work, 21-year-old temp crushed to death when co-worker re-starts the pelletizer machine while the temp was cleaning glass from it
  • Major Citations: 2 willfuls for failing to develop and train temp in LOTO procedures  
6. $129,745 — Hearing Conservation, Electrical, Machine Guarding, LOTO, Fire Violations
  • Cause: Follow-up inspection
  • Major Citations: 14 repeats, including electrical hazards, hearing conservation—lack of baseline and annual audiogram testing, noise control engineering controls and noise training, failure to implement machine-specific LOTO procedures, lack of  machine guarding and not keeping fire exit routes clear
7. $129,500 — PPE, Electrical Violations



  • Cause: Follow-up inspection
  • Major Citations: 4 repeats, including lack of emergency eyewash facilities for workers exposed to corrosives, not ensuring  electrical receptacles kept at appropriate polarity, not making workers use protective footwear and failure to monitor exposure to formaldehyde during chip frying process
 8. $123,000 — Process Safety Management Violations
  • Cause: Follow-up inspection
  • Major Citations: 23 serious, most of them for violations of the process safety management standard for companies that work with highly hazardous chemicals
9. $119,840 — Combustible Dusts Violations

  • Cause: Two workers killed during blasting operations as a result of combustible dust flash fire
  • Major Citations: $91,300 against mechanical services company for 14 serious, including failing to control fugitive combustible dusts emissions; $20,240 against general contractor for 7 serious violations including lack of respiratory protection program and not training workers in dangers of combustible dusts; and $2,800 against electrical contractor that assisted in demolition for not banning cutting operations in presence of combustible dusts
10. $112,500 — Electrical, Machine Guarding, Fall Violations
  • Cause: Targeted inspection under OSHA Site-Specific Targeting Program—company had higher than industry average injury rates
  • Major Citations: 24 serious, including electrical hazards, lack of machine guarding and slip, trip and fall hazards
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