Enforcement and Inspection

Pitfalls of Noncompliance

Avoid violations and penalties like these—and even more important the potential for accidents and injuries—by ensuring that you are in compliance with OSHA standards that apply to your workplace.

Illinois Employer Placed in SVEP Following Fatal Accident

A worker at a metal fabrication plant was fatally crushed by an automated laser-cutting machine. OSHA’s investigation of the accident uncovered willful violations, including bypassing machine safeguards and failure to use lockout/tagout. The employer was also cited for serious violations for failure to guard open-sided floors and platforms, lack of forklift inspections, lack of lockout training, and other hazards. Because of the severity of the hazards, the employer was fined $317,000 and has been placed in OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program (SVEP), which mandates targeted follow-up inspections.

Nebraska Employer Cited for Unprotected Trenches

After a worker was seriously injured when a 9-foot trench collapsed, OSHA inspectors found unprotected trenches not only at the site where the incident occurred but also at another jobsite operated by the company. As a result, OSHA cited the company for 10 safety violations, 2 of which were considered willful. The employer was fined $194,000 and placed in SVEP.

Retail Chain Faces Repeat Citations for Exit Access Issues

A retail location in New York was fined $199,500 for repeat violations related to obstructed exit routes, stacks of boxes too close to fire sprinklers, blocked access to a fire extinguisher, and stairways narrowed to unsafe widths, among other violations. Similar violations had been uncovered in previous years at other locations owed by the retail chain.

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Texas Employer Fined for Lockout/Tagout Violations

An aluminum extruder that makes windows and door frames has been cited with 15 safety violations, including a willful violation for exposing its employees to uncontrolled hazardous energy. The willful violation was for failing to develop written lockout/tagout procedures and make them available to workers. Other violations related to the lockout standard included failing to conduct periodic inspections of lockout/tagout operations and failure to provide lockout/tagout training. The company was fined $166,000.

Multiple Fractures at Ohio Facility Lead to Citations

An employee at a plastics packaging facility injured his forearm when it was pulled into a winder machine. In the previous four months, three similar incidents had occurred, resulting in fractured forearms for three other employees. An OSHA inspection revealed that the winder machine was responsible for at least 15 additional injuries over a 5-year period. OSHA cited the company with a willful violation for failing to have adequate machine guarding. The company was also cited for installing ring guards on emergency stop actuators of the winder machine, which prevented employees from readily activating the emergency stop buttons.

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Workers Injured in Explosion and Fire

Flammable vapors ignited in the production facility of an OSHA Region 5 paint plant, causing an explosion and fire in which three employees were seriously injured. Following an OSHA inspection, the company was cited for 26 safety violations, including two willful violations for locked doors and snow-blocked exits that preventing employees from exiting the burning building quickly. This employer was fined $262,000 and placed in SVEP.