Region 10 News Release: # 08-796-SEA (#08-69)
June 12, 2008
Contact: Jeannine Lupton
U.S. Labor Department's OSHA cites U.S. Army for unsafe working conditions at Fort Richardson in Alaska
SEATTLE -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited the U.S. Army for eight alleged serious safety violations and seven repeat violations at Fort Richardson's Directorate of Public Works near Anchorage, Alaska.
OSHA's inspection found alleged serious violations involving: lack of forklift training; improper grinding wheel maintenance; lack of inspection on high voltage poles; lack of assessment and use of electrical personal protective equipment; open electrical wiring; and lack of annual safety inspections to correct hazardous conditions.
OSHA previously had cited the U.S. Army for violations at Fort Richardson involving hazards on walking working surfaces, exit signs missing in the power plant, personal protective equipment hazards, lack of mounted fire extinguishers, modification of forklift forks without manufacturer's approval, vertical shafts on water pumps that were not guarded and electrical deficiencies.
"The Directorate of Public Works at Fort Richardson needs to upgrade its safety and health program so that a system is put in place to identify serious hazards, and then to correct or eliminate them," said Richard S. Terrill, regional administrator for OSHA in Seattle. "It is particularly disturbing that we found a number of serious violations of a repeated nature; that is to say, they have been identified in the past but continue to exist. This situation does not indicate an effective program is in place."
OSHA operates a vigorous enforcement program, conducting more than 39,000 inspections in fiscal year 2007 and exceeding its inspection goals in each of the last eight years. In fiscal year 2007, OSHA found nearly 89,000 violations of its standards and regulations.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthy workplace for their employees. OSHA's role is to promote the safety and health of America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual process improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
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