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February 20, 2018

Top OSHA Fines Reach $1.77 Million in First 6 Weeks of 2018

OSHA has released information on nine significant fines (over $100,000) so far this year, with five fines at or over $200,000. Common violations include fall, confined space and machine guard violations. Here are details on the top fines to date. Many are still pending final decisions.

$281,583 after fatal wall collapse at a New Jersey construction company
A New Jersey construction management and development company faces $281,583 in fines for exposing employees to crushing hazards after a concrete block retaining wall collapsed at a Poughkeepsie worksite. The retaining wall was not designed or approved by a registered engineer, and its collapse led to an employee death and injuries to another employee. The company was also cited for failing to train employees to keep a safe distance from the wall and soil pile, and failing to provide proper fall protection. See details here.

$256,088 for fall and confined space violations at a Georgia manufacturer
DANGER confined space permit required sign
Following inspection of a facility in Dalton, OSHA issued willful citations for failing to install a fall protection system, and develop and implement a written permit-required confined-space program. The company was also cited for several other violations, including failing to develop safety procedures when performing equipment maintenance and servicing; failing to train and evaluate forklift operators; failing to ensure employees have proper personal protective equipment; and failing to install machine guards on equipment. See details.

$212,396 for crush hazards at Massachusetts foundation company
A foundation company was cited for failing to protect employees against crushing hazards while they installed permanent foundation supports beneath a public library. This resulted in an employee death when a 2,600-pound rock dislodged from the building’s foundation and struck the worker. The contractor was also cited for failing to instruct employees to recognize and avoid unsafe conditions while working beneath the foundation. OSHA cited the company for similar hazards in 2015 when an employee was pinned by a granite block that came loose. The company faces $212,396 in proposed penalties. See details.

208,997 for amputation and other hazards at a Georgia poultry processing company

yellow sign, danger amputation hazard

The company was cited with a repeat violation for exposing employees to amputation hazards by failing to provide machine guarding. Fourteen serious citations were issued for failing to provide fall protection, not identifying which employees were using hazardous energy control locks, and failing to train employees exposed to noise hazards. The inspection was part of the Agency’s Regional Emphasis Program for Poultry Processing Facilities. Get details.

$199,996 for continued violations at a South Jersey manufacturer
A chain-link fencing manufacturer was cited for multiple safety violations at its Pennsauken facility and faces $199,996 in proposed penalties. Inspectors identified violations including inadequate lighting; lack of machine guards; failing to keep the workroom clean and dry; failing to inspect and ensure proper use of fall protection; and failing to provide effective training on hazardous chemicals. A prior investigation found similar violations. See details.

$194,006 for carcinogen exposure at a Kansas aircraft manufacturer

OSHA investigators found the defense contractor exposed employees to airborne concentrations of hexavalent chromium nearly two times the permissible exposure limit. The company failed to implement sufficient feasible engineering and work practice controls to prevent exposure, conduct monitoring or sampling, provide training, and require employees to properly remove potentially contaminated personal protective equipment and clothing before leaving the sanding area. See details.

$175,000 settlement in case against New York paperboard company

OSHA fall protection required sign OSHA cited the Carthage-based paper milling company for 62 safety and health violations in June 2017. The agreement requires the company to enhance efforts to prevent hazards associated with machine guarding; lack of fall protection; hazardous energy control; confined space entry; emergency response; and electrical and structural safety issues. The company will also train employees to recognize hazards; make safety and health evaluations a part of management performance appraisals; hire two full-time safety and health staff; perform weekly safety audits; submit periodic abatement progress reports to OSHA; and consent to monitoring inspections for two years. See details.

$129,336 for violations following amputation at a Georgia auto parts manufacturer
Investigators determined that an employee was removing a gear box motor from an energized scissor lift when it rotated, severing the tip of the employee’s finger. OSHA cited the employer for one repeat citation for failing to train employees on energy control procedures to prevent machines from unintentionally starting during maintenance and service. The investigation was initiated as a result of the amputation and under the Agency’s Regional Emphasis Program on Safety Hazards in the Auto Parts Industry. Get details.

$113,073 for fall protection and other hazards by an Alabama framing company
OSHA initiated an inspection after observing employees performing residential framing work without fall protection. The Agency issued one willful citation for failing to require employees to use fall protection, and one serious citation for allowing employees to use automatic nail guns without proper eye protection. The inspection was part of OSHA’s Regional Emphasis Program for Falls in Construction. The contractor has been cited five times since 2015 for failing to provide fall protection. See details.

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