OSHA Enforcement Roundup: Week of 6/24

Posted on 6/21/2024 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 and 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.

A pet product manufacturer faces $278,851 in penalties after an employee suffered severe facial burns.

The manufacturer’s Arlington, Texas facility was investigated after molten plastic allegedly sprayed in a worker’s face. Three workers were trying to break excess plastic off a structural foam machine when an injection nozzle dislodged and caused the injury.

According to Federal investigators, the company failed to:

  • Isolate energy sources to protect workers from serious injuries.
  • Develop safety procedures for safe cleaning and maintenance of machinery.
  • Ensure walkways and working areas are free of slipping hazards to prevent slips and falls.
  • Provide eye protection for workers using structural foam machines.

A global equipment manufacturer faces penalties after worker hospitalized due to electrical arc blast.

OSHA opened an inspection in response to the employer’s report of worker hospitalization due to an electrical arc blast while repairing an industrial oven. OSHA claims its investigators found the company failed to provide personal protective equipment as required when employees were working around energized electrical equipment.

The Administration determined the company lacked training for electrical maintenance employees and for the use of required lockout/tagout procedures for energized electrical equipment. The company faces $222,392 in proposed penalties for five alleged violations—one willful and four serious.

A logistics company faces $261,375 in penalties for 21 serious and two other-than-serious alleged workplace safety violations.

Responding to an employer's report that a worker needed hospitalization after being struck by a semi-tractor-trailer and suffering severe injuries at a grain yard, Federal workplace safety inspectors identified 23 violations by the worker's employer.

After its investigation, OSHA cited the company for 23 alleged violations: 21 serious and two other-than-serious violations related to struck-by hazards, fall protection, permit-required confined spaces, machine guarding, and powered industrial trucks. Inspectors also found the company did not meet OSHA's grain-handling safety standards and failed to employ a hazard communication program to train workers about hazardous material at the facility.

Four companies face penalties for alleged violations related to asbestos exposure at a demolition site in Chicago.

OSHA alleged 36 health and safety violations after investigating a Chicago demolition subcontractor. The Administration claims the subcontractor possessed a 2019 building survey that clearly identified the extensive use of asbestos to fireproof the structural beams but did not inform its employees of the hazards.

The subcontractor faces $392,000 in proposed penalties. The company was also cited for its alleged failure to train employees to recognize and avoid unsafe conditions and failure to provide medical surveillance of employees for asbestos, silica, and lead exposures. OSHA also proposed penalties for the general contractor, the site’s owner, and another contractor.

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