Enforcement and Inspection

Spotlight on Safety Enforcement

OSHA isn’t publicizing its enforcement efforts as much as it did under the Obama administration, but that doesn’t mean employers aren’t being cited and fined. Today and tomorrow, we’re taking a look at 21 recent enforcement cases that all led to penalties of over $40,000.

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Here are the first 11 cases in our roundup:

Alabama—A motor vehicle parts manufacturer was cited with three repeat violations and three serious violations. The repeat violations were issued for lockout/tagout deficiencies and failing to provide injury and illness records to authorized government representatives within 4 business hours. Serious violations were issued for fall protection, machine guarding, and lockout/tagout.
Total penalty: $84,255

Arkansas—A food and spice manufacturer was cited with two willful violations, four serious violations, and one other-than-serious violation following a fatal incident in which an employee performing a salt flush on a mixer was killed when the mixer started up while he was trapped inside. The willful violations were issued under the lockout/tagout standard. The remaining violations were cited for machine guarding deficiencies, electrical hazards, and portable ladder issues.
Total penalty: $185,055

California—A manufacturer was cited with one willful violation, five serious violations, and three other-than-serious violations following an accident. The willful violation was cited for failing to properly guard the point of operation on power presses. The remaining violations addressed training and inspection requirements for power presses and lockout/tagout requirements.
Total penalty: $142,715

Connecticut—OSHA issued six serious citations to a nursing home for violations of the bloodborne pathogens standard, as well as two other-than-serious violations for recordkeeping deficiencies.
Total penalty: $65,190

Florida—A water and sewer construction contractor was cited with 12 serious violations following a fatal incident in which an employee inspecting an underwater pipe in a trench drowned. Most of the citations were issued for violations of requirements for commercial diving operations. OSHA also issued a citation under the General Duty Clause for exposing workers to fall hazards when they were working from the bucket of an excavator over water that was approximately 13 ft in height. Additional citations addressed protective systems for trenching and excavation and provision of life jackets for employees working over or near water.
Total penalty: $60,840

Georgia—A poultry processing company was cited with 10 serious violations. Cited standards included forklifts, electrical safety, process safety management, walking-working surface requirements, and exit route design.
Total penalty: $83,110

Idaho—An automotive repair facility was cited with six serious violations following an inspection triggered by a complaint. One of the violations was issued under the General Duty Clause for exposing workers to fall, crush, and struck-by hazards from the use of damaged vehicle lifts. Additional citations dealt with lockout/tagout, hazard communication, eye and face protection, hand and portable power tools, and flammable liquids.
Total penalty: $48,168

Illinois—A manufacture of pumps and pumping equipment was cited with five serious violations of lockout/tagout, machine guarding, and electrical safety standards.
Total penalty: $52,512

Illinois—A roofing contractor was cited with three repeat violations and one serious violation. The repeat violations were issued for failing to provide fall protection in residential construction, failing to ensure that portable ladders extended at least 3 ft above upper landing surfaces, and failing to provide eye and face protection.
Total Penalty: $104,572

Kansas—A cleaning products manufacturer was cited with five serious violations under the process safety management standard.
Total penalty: $68,448

Massachusetts—A metal finishing company was cited with two willful violations, one repeat violation, eight serious violations, and one other-than-serious violation. The willful violations were issued for hazardous noise levels and exposing employees to air contaminants in levels that exceeded permissible exposure limits. Repeat violations were cited under the respiratory protection standard. The remaining violations dealt with lockout/tagout, forklifts, machine guarding, and electrical safety.
Total penalty: $262,121

Be sure to check out tomorrow’s EHS Daily Advisor to read about 10 more recent safety enforcement actions that resulted in fines of over $40,000.