OSHA Enforcement Roundup: Week of 10/23

Posted on 10/23/2023 by Nick Waldron

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 battery cell manufacturer in Warren, OH faces $270,091 in penalties for 19 alleged health and safety violations.

OSHA opened an investigation in response to safety complaints and an explosion at the Ohio facility, allegedly finding 19 health and safety violations—17 serious, and two other-than-serious.

Workers were allegedly exposed to hazards due to a failure to provide training on safety procedures related to energy control (i.e., lockout/tagout) and emergency response procedures related to the potential release of the chemical N-Methylpyrrolidone (NMP). The employer also violated the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS), OSHA says, by failing to provide Safety Data Sheets for hazardous chemicals and label chemical containers.

In the settlement, the Agency proposed $270,091 in penalties and additionally asked the facility to “reduce accumulations of metal dust and protect employees from unsafe metal dust exposure.”

A Tulsa, OK metal fabricator faces $275,890 in penalties following an inspection covered by a Regional Emphasis Program.

OSHA opened three investigations following an April 2023 incident at the manufacturing facility. Investigators allege that they found 36 violations, many of which are considered serious in nature.

Serious violations identified by investigators include failing to install required machine guards; failing to have an energy-control program or provide related training; and not ensuring electrical equipment was maintained properly and in safe operating condition. OSHA found that the company failed the OSH Act General Duty Clause, and the facility faces a total of $275,890 in penalties.

Federal investigators allege employees were exposed to toxic beryllium at an advanced alloys manufacturing facility in Wilmington, MA.

Employees at the facility perform handheld grinding and parts fabrication on beryllium components, activities that cause beryllium to go airborne where it can contact skin or be inhaled with dust and cause health effects.

OSHA claims the employer overexposed employees to airborne concentrations of beryllium, and failed to mitigate these hazards, in part by not doing the following:

  • Conduct follow-up beryllium exposure monitoring in a timely manner.
  • Implement a proper exposure control plan and maintain adequate engineering controls to reduce and minimize employees’ exposure to beryllium.
  • Keep workbench surfaces as free of beryllium as practicable.

The employer faces $69,251 in proposed penalties, and was cited for 11 serious violations and one other-than-serious violation.

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