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Senseco Marine Fined $62.7K by OSHA

December 6, 2011 Leave a comment

North Kingstown, Rhode Island – OSHA has cited Senesco Marine LLC for alleged serious and repeat violations of workplace safety standards. The North Kingstown, R.I., shipyard faces a total of $62,700 in proposed fines following an inspection conducted under OSHA’s Site-Specific Targeting Program, which directs inspections toward workplaces with a rate of workdays lost due to injuries and illnesses that is higher than the industry average.

The inspection by OSHA’s Providence Area Office identified a variety of mechanical, electrical, and exit hazards at the shipyard. These included a locked emergency exit, an inadequately guarded grinder, an ungrounded electrical cord, the lack of an emergency eyewash, an unattended powered industrial truck left with its motor running and its brake not secured, and a failure to provide annual respirator fit-testing for all members of the company’s emergency response team. As a result of these conditions, OSHA issued citations to Senesco Marine for eight serious violations, carrying $35,200 in proposed fines.

The shipyard also was cited for one repeat violation, with a fine of $27,500, for unguarded points of operation on a press brake and an ironworker machine. OSHA cited similar hazards at the shipyard following a 2007 inspection.

“Left uncorrected, these conditions expose workers to potential crushing and ‘struck-by’ injuries, lacerations, amputations, electric shock, and being unable to exit the workplace swiftly in the event of a fire or other emergency,” said Patrick Griffin, OSHA’s Rhode Island area director. “For the safety and health of its employees, this employer needs to correct these hazards and take effective steps to ensure that they do not occur again.”

Story via OHSonline

OSHA Fines USPS $558K for Willful Electrical Safety Violations

PROVIDENCE, RI – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has charged the USPS in Providence, RI with 12 willful and serious safety violations, and ordered it to pay fines of $558,000. The Postal Service “ignored long-established safety standards and knowingly put its workers in harm’s way,” OSHA said. The violations “exposed workers at the Providence facility to the serious and potentially fatal hazards of shock, electrocution and arc-flash.

The citations substantiate charges levied by the APWU regarding the Postal Service’s failure to adhere to OSHA standards for electrical safety. The Postal Service has 15 days to respond.

“These sizable fines reflect the severity and ongoing nature of these hazards,” Dr. David Michaels, OSHA assistant secretary, said in a press release. Inspectors found untrained or unqualified workers performing tests on live electrical equipment at the Providence Processing & Distribution Center, the news release noted, generating eight citations for willful safety violations and fines of $530,000.

The remaining $28,000 in fines were associated with four citations for serious safety violations, including failing to instruct workers on the proper procedures for locking out machines’ power sources to prevent unexpected startup during maintenance and related hazards. The inspection also revealed that personal protective equipment, work practices and warning signs were inadequate, OSHA said.

OSHA inspections were conducted between Nov. 2, 2009, and April 28, 2010, after the Providence Area Local filed a complaint. The local acted in response to a request from national Industrial Relations Director Greg Bell, who sent a letter to local presidents encouraging them to file complaints over the Postal Service’s failure to comply with OSHA’s electrical regulations.

“APWU has made many attempts to discuss and correct known electrical risks and hazards,” Bell wrote to locals on Oct. 22, 2009 [letter, complaint form and instructions for local presidents – PDF]. OSHA conducted inspections of postal facilities in 2007 and 2008 and found violations of various electrical safety standards, he said. “The Postal Service agreed that these hazards existed and entered into informal settlements, but has so far failed to correct the problems.”

To combat the USPS intransigence, the national union developed guidelines and urged locals across the country to file OSHA complaints.

“I commend the Providence Local for their diligent efforts to correct these dangerous hazards,” Bell said. He also praised the efforts of Northeast Region Coordinator John Dirzius, who lent support to the Providence Local and other locals in the region that filed similar charges.

“The Providence Local is the first to generate citations, but many others are in the pipeline,” Bell said.

Story Via Postal Reporter News