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Connecticut: OSHA Fines Bristol Plant $109K in Fines

February 4, 2014 Leave a comment

Bristol, CT: Radcliff Wire Inc., of Bristol, faces $109,000 in fines for repeated workplace hazards, including gaps in worker training, dangerous electrical conditions, and faulty safeguards against burns and eye injuries, federal regulators said Monday morning.

A new round of inspections by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration that began last summer found the same kinds of hazards that were revealed at the plant in 2009, said OSHA‘s chief in Hartford, Warren Simpson.

“The sizable fines proposed here reflect the breadth and gravity of these hazards and the fact that this employer has been cited previously for several of these conditions,” Simpson said in a written statement released OSHA’s regional office in Boston.

“Left uncorrected, plant employees are exposed to hazards, such as electric shock, arc flashes, fire, eye and crushing injuries. It’s imperative that employers not just correct hazards, but effectively prevent their recurrence,” Simpson said.

Radcliff Wire, at 97 Ronzo Road, has 15 business days to either begin settlement negotiations with OSHA’s Hartford office, or contest the findings before OSHA’s review panel.

The latest inspection resulted in 15 citations for a range of hazards, including failure to shut power before electricians worked machinery, failure to regularly inspect pipe systems and protective gear, improper storage of flammable chemicals, and failure to provide eye prtoection to employees who were working with corrosive chemicals.

Story Via: Courant.com

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Iowa: I-OSHA Cites Electrician Company After 5 Workers Hospitalized

February 4, 2014 Leave a comment

Sibley, Iowa — Iowa safety officials have cited a Sibley electrician business for violations that occurred when a flash explosion sent five people to a hospital in July, 2013.

The Iowa Division of Labor Services Occupational Safety and Health Bureau, or I-OSHA says the accident happened when workers were switching over electric lines at Timewell Drainage in Sibley.

Three entities have now been cited, including the City of Sibley Electric Department, Timewell, and now Current Electric of Sibley.

According to the citation, the issue occurred when workers were installing new electrical wiring to an 800 amp interior panel board. They say work was being performed while the wiring was energized and people were allowed in the immediate area without personal protective equipment.  After installation of wiring to the panel board, the employer was confirming that proper function of the equipment had been achieved.  They say lock and tagout was not applied ensuring that the equipment was not energized prior to installation of the panel cover.  They say people were in the immediate area and were exposed to an arc flash and/or arc blast, and life-threatening injuries were sustained.

I-OSHA says that Current Electric should have conducted frequent and regular inspections of job sites, materials, and equipment. They also allege that Current Electric did not instruct each employee in the recognition and avoidance of unsafe conditions and the applicable regulations.

Last fall, Timewell Drainage was cited for not instructing their employees in the recognition and avoidance of unsafe conditions, and for employees not wearing personal protective equipment.

Also last fall, the City of Sibley Electric Department was cited in connection with the incident.  I-OSHA says controls deactivated during the course of work on energized or de-energized equipment or circuits were not tagged on the worksite involving the energizing and deenergizing of a transformer with an incoming line voltage of thousands of volts.

When more than one independent crew requires the same line or equipment to be deenergized, the law requires a prominent tag for each such independent crew to be placed on the line or equipment by a designated employee in charge, and according to I-OSHA, that didn’t happen

Story Via: kiwaradio.com

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New York: $147K Settelment for Electrocution Death

January 24, 2014 1 comment

Brooklyn, NY: A  telecommunications company has reached a settlement with OSHA resolving  litigation surrounding the electrocution death of an employee in 2011 in  Brooklyn. Under the agreement, the company will pay a fine of $147,000 and make  changes to its electrical safety training.

OSHA  Regional Administrator Robert Kulick commented, “While no settlement can bring  this worker back to his family, co-workers, and friends, this agreement can help  prevent similar and needless tragedies in the future.”

The  fatality occurred when a field technician came into contact with an energized  power line as he worked from an aerial lift bucket. OSHA determined that field  technicians were not adequately trained, did not wear proper protective gloves,  and did not ground the suspension strand they were installing.

The  settlement was filed with the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission,  which reviews contested cases.

Story Via: safety.blr.com

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Florida Nonprofit facing $228K fine

January 24, 2014 Leave a comment

Pensacola, FL: OSHA is proposing $228,600 in fines for Teen Challenge of Florida Inc., a nonprofit rehabilitation program, after the agency said it found 25 safety and health violations at the organization’s facilities in Pensacola, Fla.

The Pensacola Teen Challenge Men’s Center says its mission is to help men 18 and older “who are struggling with drug addiction, alcoholism and other life-controlling issues.” The organization, which is part of Teen Challenge International, runs a screen-printing operation, a detail shop, a wood shop and two thrift stores, according to a report on the website of WEAR ABC 3 in northwest Florida.

OSHA said it initiated the July 2013 inspection after receiving a complaint alleging safety and health hazards.

“This employer willfully disregarded worker safety by exposing workers to amputation hazards,” said Brian Sturtecky, OSHA’s area director in Jacksonville, Fla. “The hazards found during our inspection must be eliminated from this workplace immediately.”

Three willful violations, with $162,000 in penalties, allegedly involve Teen Challenge exposing workers to amputation hazards by not providing machine guarding on the hand-fed ripsaws, the cutting heads of the routers and the abrasive wheels on the grinding wheel, according to OSHA.

Eighteen serious safety and health violations, with $66,600 in penalties, include allegedly failing to:

  •                               Provide workers first aid training in case of an emergency.
  •                               Provide a suitable eyewash facility.
  •                               Close unused openings in boxes, raceways, cabinets and equipment cases.
  •                               Have uniform step heights on a standard stairway and keep exit routes unobstructed.

The employer also exposed workers to numerous instances where the machines had no guarding, several electrical deficiencies were present and various tripping hazards were observed, according to OSHA.

OSHA cited Teen Challenge for four other-than-serious violations, stemming from the organization’s alleged failure to: illuminate exit signs; certify forklift operators as competent to operate powered industrial trucks safely; establish a respiratory protection program; and have forklift nameplates and markings in place and in legible condition. No monetary penalties were assigned for the other-than-serious violations.

Teen Challenge has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply or contest OSHA’s findings.

Story Via: EHStoday.com

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NH: $280K Fine Handed Out by OSHA

January 14, 2014 Leave a comment

Berlin, NH: The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited the general contractor and five subcontractors working on the construction of the Berlin Power Plant in Berlin, New Hampshire for 31 willful, serious and repeat violations of workplace safety standards. The employers face a combined $280,880 in proposed fines following inspections by OSHA’s Concord Area Office, which started in March in response to complaints.

“Workers at this site were exposed to serious and potentially fatal injuries from a variety of hazards. These included cave-in, fall, scaffold collapse, crushing, lead and electrocution hazards,” said Rosemarie Ohar, OSHA’s area director for New Hampshire. “While it is fortunate no one was killed or seriously injured, worker safety cannot and must never be left to chance. For the safety and well-being of their employees, these employers must supply and ensure the use of proper safeguards on their job sites.”

Northeast Utilities Enterprises Inc., doing business as E.S. Boulos Co., of Lewiston, Maine, an electrical contractor that installed the primary electrical wiring and transmission lines, was issued one serious citation with a $5,000 fine, for exposed live electrical wiring, unlabeled electrical panels and not closing unused electrical cabinet openings effectively.

Vaillancourt Electrical Service of Berlin, which installed and maintained temporary power throughout the job site, was issued five serious citations, with $11,600 in fines. It allowed workers to be close to an energized 480-volt electrical panel, which exposed workers to arc flash and blast hazards; it did not ensure the use of personal protective equipment; and it overlooked deficiencies involving temporary lighting, electrical cords and a panel, and did not guard an energized electrical panel from water.

Virginia Transformer Corp., of Roanoke, Va., which furnished and installed the main power transformer, was issued one serious citation, with a $7,000 fine, for allowing workers to be close to an energized electrical panel.

Story Via: ecmweb.com

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OH: LOTO Fines of $293K for Reliable Castings Corp.

January 14, 2014 Leave a comment

Sidney, OH:  The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced today that it’s cited Reliable Castings Corp. for 14 safety and health violations, carrying proposed penalties of $293,700.

The federal agency said an inspection found workers were exposed to hazards at the Sidney aluminum die castings manufacturing facility.

“OSHA’s inspectors found a facility with multiple hazards and where safety was continually compromised,” said Kim Nelson, OSHA’s area director in Toledo. “Reliable Castings Corporation has a responsibility to train its workers and to implement all required safety procedures.”

One repeat violation was issued for failing to “de-energize an industrial robot and implement lockout/tag out procedures prior to performing servicing and maintenance work on the equipment.”

OSHA said four willful violations involved failing to develop lockout procedures for servicing and changing molds on various production cells, prevent exposure to molten aluminum splash hazards from the melting furnace, inspect chains on a daily basis and prevent use of an unapproved work platform to lift workers with the fork truck. “A willful violation is committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law’s requirement, or plain indifference to employee safety and health,” OSHA said.

Eight serious violations involved failing to install guardrails near ovens and floor openings to prevent fall hazards, perform protective equipment assessments, require the use of face shields and hard hats, ensure adequate guarding on 21 machines in the foundry areas, provide lockout procedures, ensure use of an electrical cabinet is protected from water, label lifting devices with load capacities and provide safety data sheets to workers, OSHA said.

Reliable Castings Corp. is based in Sidney and employs about 140 workers there and about 130 workers at its Cincinnati location.

OSHA said the company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

A spokesman for Reliable Castings could not be reached Thursday.

Story Via: limaohio.com

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NE: Nebraska Beef Fined $61,084: Electrical Safety

OMAHA, Neb. – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Nebraska Beef Ltd. with eight safety violations, including one repeat, for failing to guard open stairs and platforms to prevent a fall hazard at its Omaha beef processing plant. Proposed penalties of $61,084 resulted from the November local emphasis program inspection for high-hazard general industry establishments, as identified by injury and illness rates in Nebraska.

“Nebraska Beef has a responsibility to recognize the hazards that exist in the workplace and to install barriers, signage and make appropriate repairs to ensure a safe working environment,” said Bonita Winingham, OSHA’s area director in Omaha. “Employers who are cited for repeat violations demonstrate a lack of commitment to employee safety and health.”

The repeat violation was cited for failing to provide standard railings and toe boards on open-sided floors and platforms 4 feet or above an adjacent floor or ground level. This violation was noted on a crossover platform in the scale room. 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. A similar violation was cited in 2011.

Seven serious violations were cited for failing to post warning signs indicating permit required confined spaces, use lockout/tagout devices for purposes other than controlling energy sources, and provide an eyewash station and a clear path to safety showers for employees exposed to corrosive chemicals, such as bleach, and properly adjust machine guarding. Three of the violations involve electrical safety standards, including operating machinery with visible electrical hazards, such as broken wires and damaged junction boxes, and failing to cover outlet boxes and use permanent wiring instead of flexible electrical cords. 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.

Nebraska Beef has been inspected 12 times since 1998, resulting in several citations for violations, such as lack of fall protection, inadequate machine guarding and electrical safety hazards. The company has 15 days from receipt of the citation and proposed 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 osha.gov

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