OSHA Fines from October to December 2019 Top $8 Million

Electrical, Industrial / Construction, Personal Protective Equipment, Safety News

Federal OSHA fines from October to December 2019 topped $8.2 million. OSHA inspections resulted in 29 significant fines (over $100,000) in that period. Fines ranged from $104,192 for a variety of hazards at an Alabama Dollar Tree store to nearly $1.6 million for electrical and fire hazards at an Illinois chemical manufacturer. Dollar Tree was cited five times for violations at stores in several states.

Common citations included lockout-tagout, confined space and fall hazards. Here are details on the highest OSHA fines proposed in the fourth quarter. Many are still pending final decisions.

$1,591,176 and SVEP after 4 fatalities in an Illinois chemical plant explosion

OSHA cited AB Specialty Silicones LLC for 12 willful safety violations after four employees suffered fatal injuries in an explosion and fire at a Waukegan, Illinois, plant in May. OSHA placed the silicon chemical products manufacturer in the Severe Violator Enforcement Program. Investigators determined the company failed to ensure that electrical equipment and installations in the plant complied with OSHA electrical standards and were approved for hazardous locations. The company also used forklifts powered by liquid propane to transport volatile flammable liquids, and operated the forklifts in areas where employees handled and processed volatile flammable liquids and gases, creating the potential for ignition. Read the citations here.

$551,226 and SVEP for fatal confined space violations at a Pennsylvania railcar service company

OSHA cited Dana Railcar of Wilmington, Delaware, for confined space hazards after an employee fatality in Pittston, Pennsylvania. The employee asphyxiated while servicing a rail car containing crude oil sludge. OSHA cited the company for four willful and three serious violations for permit-required confined spaces and inadequate respiratory protection procedures. OSHA also placed the company in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program. Read the citations here.

$460,316 for silica, fall and other hazards at a New York foundry

Frazer & Jones Company Inc. was cited for 33 health and safety violations at its Solvay, New York, iron foundry. OSHA inspectors identified hazards including exposure to crystalline silica, iron oxide, combustible dust, falls, struck-by and caught-between hazards, unsafe work floors and walking surfaces, inadequate respiratory protection, deficient safeguards for entering confined spaces, inaccessible and unavailable fire extinguishers and an impeded exit route. Review the safety citations and health citations.

$431,517 for fire and other hazards at a Massachusetts UPS Facility

OSHA cited United Parcel Service Inc. for repeat and serious hazards including exit access, fire and electrical at the shipping and delivery facility in Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts. Violations included obstructed and inadequate exit routes, lack of proper exit signage, failure to update the facility’s emergency action plan, poor housekeeping, lack of stair rails and improper use of energized electrical cords. The company has contested the findings. Read more.

$370,298 for repeat safety violations at a South Jersey fencing manufacturer

OSHA has again cited Aruvil International Inc. for multiple workplace violations, including four willful safety citations, at the company’s Pennsauken, New Jersey, facility. A follow-up inspection found willful violations of lockout/tag out procedures, machine guards and proper warehouse lighting. OSHA also cited the company for an obstructed loading dock and blocked electrical disconnects for forklift truck chargers. OSHA has inspected Aruvil three times since 2015. Review the citations.

$312,576 for workplace hazards at an Alabama Dollar Tree Store

National discount retailer Dollar Tree Stores Inc. was cited for exposing employees to safety hazards at the company’s Andalusia, Alabama, location. Inspectors found slip, trip, and fall hazards caused by failing to keep passageways and walking surfaces in a clean, orderly and sanitary condition. OSHA also cited cases of merchandise stacked unsafely, struck-by hazards and blocked emergency exits. Dollar Tree Stores Inc. has a long history of serious and repeated violations related to unsafe stacking of merchandise and blocked exits. Since 2015, OSHA has cited the company for similar violations at locations in Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Wisconsin, Idaho, Texas, New York and Rhode Island. Read more.

$301,188 following a confined-space death at a Texas environmental company

Liquid Environmental Solutions of Texas LLC was cited following an employee fatality at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport in April. The employee suffered asphyxiation while inside a manhole access space that lacked adequate oxygen and a means to escape. The company – which provides vacuum trucks to empty grease traps – lacked proper procedures, training and equipment for accessing the permit-required confined space. Review the citations.

$291,724 for repeat fall hazards by a Florida roofing contractor

CJM Roofing Inc. in West Palm, Florida, was fined for exposing employees to fall and other hazards at three residential worksites. OSHA initiated inspections as part of the Regional Emphasis Program for Falls in Construction. Inspectors observed employees working on roofs without fall protection. OSHA cited the company for failing to use a fall protection system, ensure that portable ladders extend above the upper landing, require employees to wear eye and face protection when operating pneumatic nail guns, and conduct regular inspections of the jobsite. OSHA has inspected the company five times in the past five years, resulting in repeat violations of the fall protection standard. Read more.

$278,456 for willful and repeat fall hazards by a Maine roofing contractor

OSHA cited Shawn D. Purvis – owner of Purvis Home Improvement Co. Inc. in Saco, Maine – for willful, repeat and serious workplace safety violations at a jobsite in Springvale, Maine. In response to a complaint, inspectors found three employees working on a two-story residential roof without fall protection. OSHA also cited the employer for allowing employees to work on scaffolds near energized power lines and using ladders with side rails that did not extend at least 3 feet above upper work surfaces. OSHA inspected and cited the company seven times in the last seven years, including 17 violations with penalties of $1.7 million in June, following an employee’s fatal fall. A Portland grand jury indicted Purvis for manslaughter and workplace manslaughter in April, 2019, charging that his repeated violations of OSHA’s fall protection standards caused a worker fatality. Review the latest citations.

$270,048 for crystalline silica, fall and amputation hazards at an Ohio foundry

Liberty Casting Company was cited for exposing employees to crystalline silica above the permissible exposure levels at the Delaware, Ohio, foundry. Inspectors determined the company failed to implement engineering and work practice controls to limit employee exposure to silica, provide and require the use of respirators, develop an exposure control plan and medical surveillance procedures and train employees on OSHA’s silica standards. The company also failed to provide personal protective equipment, conduct hazard assessments, use adequate machine guarding, and develop lockout/tagout control procedures. Review citations here.

$250,000+ in damages for retaliation by a New York transportation company

A whistleblower investigation found that Bouchard Transportation Company Inc. – a petroleum barge company based in Melville, New York – and its officers violated the whistleblower protection provisions of the Seaman’s Protection Act (SPA) when it retaliated against a seaman who cooperated with U.S. Coast Guard. On October 20, 2017, a barge exploded off Port Aransas, Texas, killing two employees. One of the victims’ brother, who was also an employee, claimed he was fired for cooperating with investigators and reporting other safety concerns. Read more.

$247,544 for repeat fall hazards by an Ohio roofing contractor

Mike Krueger, doing business as Altogether Roofing in Martin, Ohio, was cited for exposing employees to fall hazards. OSHA inspectors cited Krueger for failing to install and require the use of a guardrail, safety net, or personal fall arrest system, train employees on fall hazards, and develop an accident prevention program. Inspectors also cited a repeated violation for unsafe ladder use, and a serious violation for failing to require eye protection for employees operating pneumatic nail guns. OSHA has cited Krueger for fall protection violations five times since 2008. Read the citations.

$223,525 and SVEP for fatal fall protection violations at a Missouri food flavoring manufacturer

Kerry Inc. was cited for failing to provide fall protection to employees working in the company’s facility in Greenville, Missouri. An employee fatally fell while trying to extinguish a fire at the plant. OSHA determined the company failed to designate, train and educate a fire brigade properly on how to respond to such emergencies; evaluate hazards to determine the need for personal protective equipment; provide approved self-contained breathing apparatus; complete required safety data sheets; and repair damaged parts. OSHA has placed the company in the Severe Violator Enforcement Program. Review the citations.

$210,037 and SVEP for trench hazards by a Missouri contractor

Blue Nile Contractors Inc. in Birmingham, Missouri, was cited for failing to protect employees from trench collapse and electrical hazards. Inspectors observed workers exposed to trenching and excavation hazards while installing water lines at a Kansas City jobsite. OSHA cited four repeat and five serious safety violations and placed the company in the Severe Violator Enforcement Program. Read the citations.

$208,384 for exit and storage hazards at a Dollar Tree Store in Connecticut

Dollar Tree Stores Inc. were cited for exit and storage hazards at a store in Bloomfield, Connecticut. Responding to a complaint, OSHA inspectors found the store’s emergency exits blocked by rolling conveyor equipment and stored merchandise, and boxes of products stacked unsafely, creating the potential for falling loads, and tripping and fire hazards. OSHA has cited the company multiple times for similar hazards at stores around the nation. Review the Connecticut citations.

$208,368 for storage and exit hazards at a New York Dollar Tree Store

Dollar Tree Stores Inc. was cited for unsafe storage of material, obstructed exit routes and blocked electrical panels at the discount retailer’s Elmira, New York, store. OSHA inspectors found boxes and equipment blocking an exit route in a storage room, unsecured boxes stacked to the ceiling and piles of equipment and boxes blocking access to a circuit breaker. Read the New York citations.

$205,098 for fall hazards by a Missouri roofing contractor

Martin Davila, operating as Davila Construction, was cited for exposing employees to fall hazards at three separate Missouri job sites. OSHA inspectors issued safety violations for failing to provide adequate fall protection for employees working at heights; train employees on fall safety hazards and procedures, and the safe use of ladders; and provide personal protective equipment to employees using pneumatic nail guns. OSHA further alleges the company violated electrical safety standards and allowed the operation of an internal combustion engines in close proximity to a five-gallon gas can. OSHA also cited Davila for failing to develop and maintain a safety program, a violation for which OSHA cited the company in 2014. Review current citations.

$202,988 for fall and other hazards at a West Virginia roofer

OSHA cited Roofing Solutions LLC of in Charleston, West Virginia, for exposing employees to falls and other safety and health hazards. OSHA inspected after receiving complaints alleging that employees were working on roofs without fall protection. The company received citations for failing to provide employees with proper fall protection and training on fall hazards. The company also failed to have a required safety and health program, and ensure that employees engaged in roofing activities used hardhats and proper ladders. Review the citations.

$200,451 for repeat fall hazard violations by an Ohio contractor

Chanell Roofing and Home Improvement LLC based in Cleveland, Ohio was cited for exposing employees to fall hazards. OSHA inspectors cited the company for two willful violations for failing to install and require the use of a guardrail, safety net or personal fall arrest system while employees worked on residential roofs. OSHA also cited failure to train employees on fall protection hazards and the proper use of a ladder, develop a safety and health program, and require head protection. Since 2015, OSHA has cited the company four times for fall protection violations. Review current citations.

 

Eleven OSHA Fines from October to December 2019 were less than $200,000: