OSHA Enforcement Roundup: Week of 1/29

Posted on 1/29/2024 by Lion Technology Inc.

The OSH Act of 1970 requires US employers to provide a safe, healthy workplace for every employee. Failure to comply with applicable OSHA health & safety standards can easily lead to preventable injuries and fatal accidents at workplaces of all types.

The enforcement actions highlighted below provide insight into how and why OSHA issues citations for workplace safety violations. All violations discussed are alleged only unless we say otherwise.

We withhold the names of organizations and individuals subject to enforcement to protect their privacy. Check out OSHA’s latest list of the 10 most-cited safety Standards here.

An automotive carpet manufacturer was named a severe violator by OSHA after an investigation of a reported amputation.

While responding to a partial finger amputation at an automotive carpet manufacturer, OSHA safety inspectors found workers were exposed to operating machine parts when cleaning chains, sprockets, rotating drums, hot air boxes, and burn boxes. The Administration alleges that the company did not provide or require the use of lockout/tagout procedures and did not provide heat resistant PPE.

The manufacturer, who has received citations for similar violations from four previous investigations in recent years, faces $234,376 in proposed penalties for three repeat and four serious violations and was placed in the Severe Violator Enforcement Program (SVEP). Employers can be removed from the program three years after OSHA verifies that all SVEP-related hazards have been fixed.

OSHA responds to sixth amputation injury at musical instrument manufacturer in eight years, names employer a severe violator.

The company reported that a worker suffered a finger-tip amputation while setting up a machine die that is used to manufacture sousaphones inside a press. OSHA cited the company three repeat and three serious violations related to lockout/tagout procedures, training, and machine guarding.

The Administration states that the facility’s employee injury rate is 7.8 workers per year—much higher than the industry average—and placed the employer in the SVEP.

OSHA: Battery manufacturer exposed employees to unsafe nickel levels, faces $75k in penalties.

A global electric vehicle battery manufacturer faces $75,449 in penalties after allegedly exposing employees to workplace health and safety issues that resulted in the company being cited for six serious violations and one other-than-serious violation.

The alleged violations include:

  • Not providing initial or update Hazard Communication training to employees,
  • Not providing emergency flushing/drenching facilities in areas where employees were exposed to harmful corrosive materials,
  • Failure to establish and maintain an audiometric testing program by making audiometric testing available to all employees required by 29 CFR 1910.95, and
  • Multiple issues regarding respiratory protection, including exposing employees to respiratory hazards by not assessing workplace hazards related to dust, not providing basic advisory information on respirators, and improper storage of respirators.

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