OSHA Enforcement Roundup: Week of 3/18

Posted on 3/18/2024 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.

A brick manufacturer faces $124,212 in penalties for 11 serious alleged violations.

OSHA cited the clay brick manufacturer with 11 serious citations. Allegedly, the Agency found the employer exposed workers to airborne concentrations of respirable crystalline silica of up to six-and-a-half times the permissible exposure level.

In addition to the alleged respirable silica exposure, OSHA says the manufacturer:

Failed to:
  • Evaluate and implement engineering controls and work practices to reduce and maintain employee exposure to respirable crystalline silica to or below the permissible exposure.
  • Provide effective training on crystalline silica to employees exposed over the permissible exposure level.
Neglected to:
  • Offer free medical surveillance, at a reasonable time and place, to employees exposed to respirable crystalline silica above the action level for 30 or more days per year.
  • Fit test or provide medical evaluation for workers required to wear respirators.
  • Required employees to wear respirators without providing training first.
  • Allowed employees to work in areas that required respirators without providing a compliant respiratory protection program.

A hardwood flooring manufacturer faces $269,662 in penalties for 28 serious and six other-than-serious alleged violations.

OSHA inspectors conducted an inspection at the manufacturer’s facility under the Agency's National Emphasis Program for amputation hazards in September 2023.

The company was cited for four repeat, 28 serious, and six other-than-serious violations. Specifically, OSHA says the employer failed to:

  • Train workers in lockout/tagout procedures.
  • Train employees on the hazards associated with chemicals in the workplace.
  • Record injuries in a timely manner.
  • Use required lockout/tagout procedures.
  • Provide adequate personal protective equipment.
  • Protect workers from electrical hazards.
  • Install adequate guarding to protect workers from contact with operating machine parts.
  • Implement a hearing conservation program, including training and hearing protection.
  • And more.

A frozen food manufacturer faces $551,719 in penalties after a worker suffered an amputation injury.

The manufacturer of frozen dumplings, wontons, and noodles has “an extensive history of violating federal safety and health standards” was investigated and cited once again after a worker suffered an amputation injury last summer.

The Agency alleges that the company exposed workers to lockout/tagout hazards and cited it for four willful, one repeat and three serious violations. The company has now been inspected six times in the past five years and was placed in the Severe Violator Enforcement Program after an inspection in 2021.

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