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WI: Miller Compressing fined $70,000 for Lock Out Tag Out Failure

October 22, 2012 Leave a comment
Milwaukee, WI: The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Miller Compressing Co. in Milwaukee with two willful safety violations for allowing employees to perform maintenance on a shredder without first isolating the machine’s energy source.
OSHA opened an inspection upon receiving a complaint alleging hazards at the company’s scrap processing facility. The agency is proposing fines totaling $70,000 for the alleged violations.
“Miller Compressing Co. has a responsibility to ensure that workers are properly protected from known workplace hazards – such as machinery becoming unintentionally energized during maintenance – that can result in amputations and other serious injuries,” said George Yoksas, OSHA’s area director in Milwaukee. “OSHA is committed to protecting workers, especially when employers fail to do so.”
Specifically, the willful violations are failing to lock out and tag out the electrical power source of a 7,000-horsepower shredder and have adequate energy control procedures in place for maintenance and servicing, OSHA said. A willful violation is one committed with intentional knowledge or voluntary disregard for the law’s requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health, the agency said.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Story via biztimes.com
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WI: OSHA Fines Fontarome Chemical Inc. over $51K – Lock Out Tag Out and PPE

October 15, 2012 Leave a comment
Milwaukee, WI: The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Fontarome Chemical Inc. for 17 serious safety violations following an electrical fire at the company’s pharmaceutical manufacturing facility in St. Francis on April 13.  The fire occurred during the troubleshooting of an electrical component on the hot oil heater. OSHA initiated an inspection under its national emphasis program on process safety management for covered chemical facilities. Proposed fines total $51,800.
“Employers must provide safe working conditions, especially for employees who work with highly hazardous chemicals,” said George Yoksas, OSHA’s area director in Milwaukee. “It is clear that Fontarome Chemical failed to create safety procedures, much less train employees or review procedures to ensure their effectiveness, as is necessary for these kinds of operations.”
Twelve violations cited relate to process safety management, including failing to address hazards related to potential engineering and administrative control failures, implement written operating procedures, review and certify operating procedures annually, train workers on the procedures, develop emergency procedures for the shutdown of process equipment or to address deviations from normal operating limits, validate management of change procedures, conduct a compliance audit at least every three years and respond to deficiencies found in compliance audits.
Five other violations involve failing to develop machine-specific procedures for locking and tagging out energy sources, perform periodic inspections of machinery, guard machines, require workers to wear insulating gloves and fire-retardant clothing when working on energized circuits, and conduct an arc flash hazard analysis. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
Fontarome Chemical manufactures ingredients for pharmaceuticals and the flavor and fragrance industries. The inspection was OSHA’s third of the St. Francis facility, which previously had been cited for a total of 22 violations. The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area office or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Story via biztimes.com
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