OSHA Enforcement Roundup: Week of 9/25

Posted on 9/25/2023 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 Houston recycled glass company faces $370,995 in penalties for allegedly exposing workers to safety hazards.

After a complaint led OSHA to investigate a contractor, the Agency claims to have found nine serious, one willful, and three repeat violations related to lockout/tagout, fall hazards, and machine guarding.  Specifically, OSHA says the employer, who had been investigated three times previously, in 2021, allowed projecting shaft ends to be unguarded and did not enclose sprocket wheels and chains.

A roofing contractor faces OSHA enforcement again—this time for alleged fall protection violations at worksites in three Ohio towns.

OSHA inspectors claim to have seen employees—who had access to fall protection equipment—exposed to deadly fall hazards “on four occasions in less than three months in 2023.”

Employers must require workers to use fall protection equipment when it is needed, not just provide it. The contractor also allegedly allowed unsafe extension-ladder and pneumatic nail gun usage. OSHA proposed $548,801 in penalties following the investigation.

OSHA proposed $73,219 in penalties for alleged violations after warning a construction company about excavation hazards.

Federal inspectors warned the construction company’s operator of hazardous conditions at its excavation site in Mangilao, Guam. Two weeks later, they allegedly returned to find workers working in “potentially deadly trench hazards” while installing a sewer line.

The Agency said that the owner was also warned repeatedly by peers and engineers before the inspection and, specifically, did not protect employees from cave-ins with an adequate protective system, exposed employees to atmospheric hazards, and did not provide safe means of egress in trench excavations of 4 feet or more in depth.

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