OSHA Fines Top $7 Million in 3rd Quarter of 2018
Federal OSHA has released information on 28 significant fines (over $100,000) totaling $7,008,394 from July to September, 2018. The highest penalty was more than $795,000, and the top five accounted for nearly $2.6 million. Common citations included confined space and electrical hazards, PPE violations and machine hazards. Here are details on the top OSHA fines. Many are still pending final decisions.
$795,254 OSHA Fines and SVEP Following a Fatal Explosion at a Kentucky Shipyard
OSHA cited five contractors after three employees were fatally injured and two others critically injured in an explosion onboard a towboat in Calvert City, Kentucky. Investigation determined the explosion occurred when employees were cutting and welding in an atmosphere containing flammable gases. Citations included failing to test confined spaces before entry; train workers on confined space entry operations; label chemical containers; exposing employees to asphyxiation, fire, explosion, chemical, trip, and drowning hazards; and allowing hot work/welding to be performed without testing for an explosive atmosphere. The five companies collectively received 55 violations with proposed penalties totaling $795,254. The ship repair contractor was placed in the Severe Violator Enforcement Program (SVEP). See details on the OSHA fines here.
$587,564 for Respirator, Electrical and PPE violations at an Illinois Adhesives Manufacturer
Inspectors cited 18 health and safety violations at a facility in Frankfort for failing to provide employees with respirator fit tests and respirators appropriate for hazardous atmospheres; require bonding and grounding when transferring flammable liquids; ensure that electrical equipment was approved for use in hazardous atmospheres; and conduct a personal protective equipment assessment. See OSHA fine details.
$507,374 and SVEP Following Fatal Engulfments in a Kansas Grain Bin
OSHA cited the company for failing to provide employees with lifelines and fall protection; lockout equipment; provide rescue equipment; and allowing employees to enter a bin in which bridged and/or hung-up grain was present. “Moving grain acts like quick sand, and can bury a worker in seconds,” said an OSHA spokesperson. “This tragedy could have been prevented if the employer had provided workers with proper safety equipment, and followed required safety procedures to protect workers from grain bin hazards.” See details here.
$370,358 for Serious and Willful Violations at an Oregon Shipbuilder
OSHA investigated after receiving employee complaints of workplace hazards while performing hot work in the engine room of a passenger ferry. Inspectors determined that the company allowed employees to work on energized circuit boxes; failed to conduct fit-testing and medical evaluations before providing respirators and implement an effective hearing conservation program; and failed to make sure employees wore seat belts when operating powered industrial trucks. Oregon and Alaska workplace safety and health agencies have also cited the company with similar violations at its facilities in those states. See details.
$331,490 for Excessive Noise and Other Hazards at an Ohio Manufacturer
OSHA conducted an inspection in response to a complaint. Audiograms for 12 employees indicated mild to moderate hearing loss, and investigators determined the company failed to implement an audiometric testing program to monitor employee hearing loss, and controls to reduce noise levels; use machine guards; provide adequate respiratory protection; remove damaged forklifts from use; train workers on hazardous communication; and store flammable materials properly. See OSHA fine details here.
$318,687 for Machine Hazards at a Texas Countertop Company
Inspectors determined that the company failed to remove damaged lifting slings from service; train workers in lockout/tagout procedures; review the company’s lockout/tagout procedures; complete a hazard assessment; and provide employees with adequate hand protection. OSHA cited the company for similar violations in May 2015. See details.
$309,505 and SVEP for Confined Space and Other Violations at a Georgia Peanut Processing Facility
After conducting a follow-up inspection as part of a formal settlement OSHA cited the company for failing to develop and implement procedures for confined space entry; train employees on confined space hazards; reduce compressed air to the required level; and meet recordkeeping requirements. The company was placed in OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program. “This employer failed to adhere to the terms of a formal agreement to correct workplace hazards identified in a previous inspection, continuing to put employees at risk of serious injury,” said OSHA. See details here.
OSHA Fines of $200-$300,000 issued from July to September include:
- $ 271,061 for Struck-by, Drowning and other Violations at a Florida Shipyard. Details here.
- $265,147 for Fire and Explosion Hazards at a Texas Railcar Maintenance Company. Details here.
- $250,000 for Willful Scaffolding and Other Violations at a Texas Contractor. Details here.
- $225,046 for Machine Safety Hazards at a Colorado Metal Forging company. Details here.
- $216,253 for Unsafe Carbon Monoxide Levels at an Illinois Pallet Manufacturer. Details here.
- $231,411 for Amputation Hazards at an Ohio Tool Manufacturer. Details here.
In addition, 15 other companies in 12 states received OSHA fines from $100-200,000.
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