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MT: $58,300 in OSHA Fines, Including Electrical Hazards

August 23, 2012 Leave a comment

Missoula, Montana: A janitorial company working in a Missoula nursing home has been cited with almost $60,000 worth of safety violations after exposing workers to multiple hazards, including failure to provide hepatitis B exposure prevention training to employees. Healthcare Services Group Inc. was issued five citations Aug. 7 from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration after inspections were opened in May at the Missoula Health and Rehabilitation Center.

Two “repeat” violations – for failing to make vaccinations for hepatitis B available and failing to provide training to employees on hazardous chemicals – carry $44,000 worth of fines. Healthcare Services was cited for similar violations in its Laurel facility and at a facility in Pueblo, Colo., in the past five years, an OSHA news release said.  The three other violations were classified as “serious,” and included not providing the correct training to prevent the spread of hepatitis B.

“Employers must protect workers who are occupationally exposed to blood or other potentially infectious materials,” Jeff Funke said in the OSHA news release. Funke is the director of OSHA’s Billings-area office. “This employer placed workers’ health at risk by not offering them required bloodborne pathogens training.”

The other serious violations were issued to Healthcare Group for failing to guard the belts and pulleys of a commercial dryer, and failing to cover the opening of an electrical junction box. 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, the OSHA news release said.

In all, the violations carry $58,300 in fines.  Inspections at Missoula Health and Rehabilitation Center were opened on May 21. Calls to the center, which is classified as a “skilled nursing home” in the OSHA news release, were referred to the company’s EmPres Healthcare corporate office.  A person answering phones at Healthcare Group’s Bensalem, Pa., office said the company would not comment on the citations.

Healthcare Group has 15 business days to respond to the citations. According to the OSHA news release, the company can comply with the citations, request an informal conference with OSHA’s Billings-area office or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Story via missoulian.com

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MT: OSHA Cites PAR Electric

BILLINGS, Mont. – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Kansas City, Mo.-based PAR Electrical Contractors Inc. for three alleged safety violations following the Dec. 22, 2011, death of an employee who was electrocuted while working on a power line near the town of Two Dot, Mont., approximately 100 miles outside of Billings.
“We are committed to doing everything in our power to prevent tragic workplace incidents such as this from happening,” said Trina Mailloux, acting director of OSHA’s Billings Area Office. “Employers must ensure that workers are protected when working near power lines.”

OSHA has issued citations for two serious violations involving exposing workers to electrocution hazards when they are working in close proximity to energized parts without approved insulating safeguards and failing to discontinue the power line work when high winds made the situation particularly hazardous. 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.  Additionally, a citation has been issued for one repeat violation involving failing to keep new conductors under positive control in order to prevent accidental contact with energized circuits.

In February 2007, OSHA cited PAR Electrical Contractors for essentially the same violation identified at a Missouri job site. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years.
The citations carry a total of $52,500 in proposed fines. The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Story via OSHA.

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