National News Release: USDL 05-2362-KAN
January 12, 2006
Contact: Al Belsky or Elaine Fraser
Phone: (202) 693-4676
WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) today cited John J. Steuby Co., located in St. Louis, for more than 50 alleged safety and health violations, and proposed penalties totaling $788,000.
"Worker safety should be a top priority for every employer," said Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao. "The department will take serious actions to protect workers' health and safety at the workplace."
The company received 12 willful, 37 serious, one repeat and three other-than-serious citations for alleged violations observed during an inspection of the Steuby plant that began on July 13, 2005, in response to an employee complaint. Many of the willful violations related to hazards caused by machine operation. During the inspection, OSHA discovered there had been numerous serious machine operation injuries, including seven finger amputations.
OSHA issued separate willful citations for each hazardous screw machine under its instance-by-instance citation policy because the employer did not address machine guarding issues despite its history of injuries, as well as warnings from workers' compensation carriers about the unsafe conditions of the machines. Numerous hazardous grinders were also cited in another willful citation. The company also received a willful citation for failing to perform lockout/tagout to prevent machinery from starting up during maintenance or repair. The OSHA inspector observed workers servicing machinery by putting their arms into the equipment without locking or tagging out the power source.
A willful citation was also issued for allowing cooling oil and water to build up on the floors, creating slippery conditions where employees walked by unguarded, operating machinery and where employees drove forklifts. The remaining willful citations related to failing to provide audiometric testing; the inappropriate use of high pressure air for cleaning; and for failing to train employees in lockout/tagout application, the safe operation of powered industrial trucks, and chemical hazards.
John J. Steuby Co. manufactures machined metal products for the automotive, appliance, bearing, ordinance, hydraulic, plumbing hardware and commercial-fittings industries.
OSHA has inspected the company ten times since 1993 in response to employee complaints or referrals, or as part of its plan for inspecting potentially hazardous work places. Eight of those inspections resulted in citations for a total of 42 serious, repeat and other-than-serious violations. Previous citations addressed hazards associated with lack of machine guarding, failure to use lockout/tagout, hearing conservation program deficiencies, lack of powered industrial truck training, and other hazards found again during this inspection.
The company has 15 working days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to contest them before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
A summary of citations and proposed penalties follows this news release.
Employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace for their employees. OSHA's role is to assure the safety and health of America's workers by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach, and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
JOHN J. STEUBY COMPANY
ST. LOUIS, MO.
- Four instances of lack of point-of-operation machine guarding; penalty is $63,000 for each unguarded machine totaling $252,000
- Insufficient housekeeping, aisle space; penalty $63,000
- Lack of audiometric testing; penalty $36,000
- Lack of lockout training; penalty $63,000
- Lockout/tagout not performed; penalty $63,000
- Lack of powered industrial truck operations training; penalty $63,000
- Lack of abrasive wheel grinder guarding; penalty $63,000
- Compressed air used for cleaning was not reduced to less than 30 pounds per square inch; $49,500
- No chemical hazard communication training; penalty $49,500
Total Proposed Penalties for Willful Violations: $702,000
A willful violation is defined as one committed with an intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and regulations.
- OSHA cited the company with 37 serious safety and health violations with a proposed total penalty of $70,800.
A serious violation is one in which there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result, and the employer knew, or should have known, of the hazard.
- The path to ground was not permanent and continuous; penalty $4,000.
- OSHA 300 log was not completed correctly; penalty $3,200
- OSHA 301 or equivalent form was not documented accurately for all injuries resulting in recordable cases; penalty $2,400
- OSHA 301 or equivalent form was not completed for all injuries resulting in recordable cases; penalty $5,600
Total Proposed Penalties for Other-Than-Serious Violations: $11,200
SUMMARY OF PROPOSED PENALTIES:
Serious $ 70,800
Repeat $ 4,000
Other-Than-Serious $ 11,200
TOTAL FOR ALL VIOLATIONS: $788,000
This news release text is on the Internet at http://www.osha.gov. Information on this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (202) 693-1999.