2022 injury and illness data from over 300,000 U.S. workplaces is now available for download from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) website, the agency announced March 31.
The agency requires certain employers to submit injury tracking data on OSHA Form 300A as part of its electronic recordkeeping requirements.
Not all establishments are required to submit Form 300A data, however; electronic submissions are required from establishments with 250 or more employees that are currently required to keep OSHA injury and illness records and establishments with 20–249 employees in specific industries that have had historically high rates of occupational injuries and illnesses.
“Recordkeeping is a valuable tool that provides a road map to where and why injuries and illnesses occur and where improvements are needed,” Doug Parker, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health, said in an agency statement. “By increasing access to this data, we are providing information that can help people better understand the overall effectiveness of safety and health systems in the workplace.”
Ohio hardwood flooring mill faces $333K in OSHA fines
A Portsmouth, Ohio, hardwood flooring mill faces $333,693 in new OSHA fines after federal inspectors responded for a third time in 5 months to reports of unsafe machinery. Two of the inspections involved workers’ injuries, the latest occurring October 5, 2022, when a worker’s fingertip was partially amputated because it was caught in an unguarded belt and pulley. OSHA cited Appalachian Wood Floors Inc., which operates as Graf Custom Hardwood, with 6 repeat and 12 serious safety violations involving machine safety procedures, trip hazards for surfaces filled with debris, and various electrical safety violations.
OSHA also placed the employer in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program (SVEP). Employers in this program are subject to mandatory follow-up inspections, and last fall, OSHA expanded the program’s criteria to include violations of all hazards and agency standards, continuing to focus on repeat offenders in all industries.
OSHA inspectors determined the mill lacked machine guarding, safety procedures, and training, exposing employees to mechanical hazards. The agency responded to similar injuries at the mill in May and July 2022.
During the October inspection, inspectors noted employees required to clean, unjam, and maintain equipment weren’t trained in lockout/tagout procedures and weren’t provided hand tools to assist with unjamming machines and that many machines lacked adequate guarding. Agency inspectors also noted unsafe electrical practices, stairs that lacked guard rails, and workers who were unable to safely enter and exit their workspaces due to debris littering the floor.
The agency conducted three inspections last year:
- Two inspections opened May 24 resulted in OSHA citing five serious and one other-than-serious violation involving a lack of recordkeeping, trip hazards from debris littering walking and working surfaces, an unguarded chain and sprocket, and unsafe electrical conditions.
- An inspection was opened July 12 after the company reported a worker suffered a finger amputation. OSHA cited two serious violations for a lack of machine guarding.
“These preventable injuries demonstrate a blatant disregard for the safety of workers and a failure to train them on safety procedures,” Ken Montgomery, OSHA’s Cincinnati, Ohio, area office director, said in an agency statement. “Graf Custom Hardwood must immediately review their machines for adequate guarding and train their workers so they can operate the machines safely.”