Posts Tagged ‘violation’

Bluefield WV Post Office Fined $280K by OSHA for Electrical Safety Violations

November 18, 2010 Leave a comment

BLUEFIELD, WEST VIRGINIA — A mail-processing facility in Bluefield has been cited for several workplace safety violations for allegedly exposing workers to electrical hazards.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration found multiple violations at the 3010 East Cumberland Road facility in Bluefield. OSHA said employees were working with live electrical parts, leaving them vulnerable to multiple hazards. OSHA said one serious citation was issued for allowing an unauthorized employee to perform inspections at the facility.

The violations allege the Bluefield facility failed to label electrical cabinets, properly train employees, use safety-related work practices when exposed to energized electrical parts and provide proper electrical protective equipment.

Cathy Yarosky, a communications program specialist with the United States Postal Service in Charleston, said the citations will have no impact on the normal customer operations at the Bluefield facility. Yaroksy said the alleged violations occurred in a plant facility where there is no access to customers.

“The postal service places the safety and well being of its employees as a top priority,” Yarosky said. “Bureau of Labor statistics validate that the postal service works twice as safe as other delivery organizations. The National Safety Council recognized more than 5,800 of our employees for driving a million miles without an accident. No other business comes close. The council’s 2009 Safe Driver of the Year award was presented to one of our dedicated employees who drove two million miles accident free.”

Yarosky said efforts to enhance safe electrical work practices are already underway.

“Additionally, in January 2010, the postal service began implementing an electrical work plan to enhance its safe electrical work practices for employees, and the postal service believes this plan meets OSHA standards,” Yarosky said. “The plan provides for electrical risk assessments, training, personal protective equipment (ppe), enhanced safe electrical work practices and insulated tools. As a result of the plan, the Postal Service has already provided 123,000 hours of training for more than 20,000 maintenance employees. We are in the process of distributing more than $2 million in protective safety gear to them.”

OSHA initiated an inspection of the Bluefield facility in May. Inspectors cited the facility with four willful violations carrying a penalty of $280,000 and one serious violation with a penalty of $7,000.

The postal service has 15 business days from the receipt of the citations to comply with, meet with the OSHA area director or contest the findings of the citations, according to the OSHA press release.

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PA Company Faces OSHA Fines for Electrical Safety Violations and Worker Death

October 29, 2010 Leave a comment

HANOVER TOWNSHP,  — A Hanover Township business has been cited with a dozen safety violations after a worker was electrocuted at a work site earlier this year.

Last week, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited Richard Kaposy, who was doing business as Treeman Landscaping, 4695 Route 151, Box 74.  (for official release by OSHA on this event, click here)

Kaposy was cited with two willful, seven serious and three “other-than-serious” violations.

Frank Librich, assistant area director for OSHA in Pittsburgh, said Kaposy also does business as Country Boyz Cutting City Trees, based in Washington, Pa.

He said the company was working in Bethel Park on April 21, taking down a tree, when one of Kaposy’s employees, Eric Arnold, 30, of Langeloth, cut a tree limb that came in contact with a 13,200-volt power line. Arnold was killed when his chain saw touched the branch.  

The two willful violations issued to the company were for failing to provide workers protective equipment while cutting in and below trees and for failing to ensure an unqualified worker did not work in proximity to an energized electrical line, according to OSHA’s citations. A willful violation is committed with intention, indifference or voluntary disregard for the law and worker safety.

Librich said Kaposy was cited Oct. 19 after the investigation and faces penalties totaling $119,700. The company has 15 business days, or until Nov. 9, to ask for an informal conference or to contest the citations. Otherwise, it becomes a final order of OSHA’s review commission.  

Story via Beaver County Times

Igloo Products Faces $113K in Fines from OSHA Including Electrical Safety Violations

October 21, 2010 Leave a comment

KATY, TEXAS – A company in Katy is facing more than $113,000 in federal penalties for allegation of unsafe working conditions, authorities said.

The investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration began May 27 when employees at Igloo Products Corp. complained they were exposed to safety hazards while servicing machines at the company.

OSHA officials said the company didn’t provide eye protection or adequate safety shower stations for employees. They also failed to close electrical panel covers, provide clean and dry walkways and stairway, among other violations.

The company also failed to maintain power tools and adequately label electrical equipment.

The company has 15 days to comply with the requirements, contest the ruling or request a conference with OSHA officials in Houston.

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USPS Electrical Safety Violation Fines Stacking Up from OSHA

October 21, 2010 Leave a comment

The United States Postal Service is set to lose tens of millions of dollars for a series of “willful” health and safety violations at its processing facilities across America.

While desperately searching for possible cutbacks to stem its multi-billion dollar losses, the organisation is being sued by the federal government for what are described as an “indifference to employee safety and health”.

The USPS has been accused of putting its workers at risk and ignoring long-established safety procedures.

The latest fine, announced this week, was for five safety violations at the USPS processing centre in Columbus, Ohio, for which a $210,000 fine was proposed by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OHSA), an agency of the US Department of Labor.

The Columbus fine brings the Postal Service’s total fines imposed this year to more than $4.3m, for violations in at least 15 processing centres.

Previous fines handed out this year have been as high as $558,000 for 12 violations at the Providence Processing and Delivery Center in Providence, Rhode Island.

The OHSA is currently looking into health and safety complaints regarding 350 of the USPS locations.

If the other processing facilities lead to similar fines to those handed out so far this year, the Postal Service could be facing total fines above the $100m mark.

In Columbus, the OSHA began inspecting the processing centre back in April, in response to complaints from USPS employees.

Inspectors found that the Postal Service was not providing adequate safety training, and was not ensuring workers followed safety-related work practices when dealing with electrical equipment.

Appropriate personal protective equipment was not being provided for those working on energised electrical equipment, the OSHA said.

The agency said the violations were “committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law’s requirements, or plain indifference to employee safety and health”.

Assistant secretary of labour for OSHA, Dr. David Michaels, said: “These sizable fines reflect the severity and ongoing nature of these hazards. The Postal Service ignored long-established safety standards and knowingly put its workers in harm’s way.”

USPS told Post&Parcel yesterday that it is reviewing the OSHA’s concerns.

Postal Service spokesman Mark Saunders said the USPS had begun a programme to enhance its safety procedures as far back as January 2010, including 123,000 hours of training for more than 20,000 maintenance employees.

He said the USPS is in the process of distributing more than $2m worth of protective safety gear for staff, including safety glasses, face shields and protective gloves, lab coats and coveralls.

Saunders said: “Regardless, one accident, or the potential for one accident – on the road, in a Post Office or a mail processing plant – is one too many. We will review OSHA’s concerns and make necessary adjustments to continue to ensure a safe working environment for our employees.”

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