US Department of Labor's OSHA cites Albertville, Ala., fabrication
company more than $71,000 in penalties for endangering workers
ALBERTVILLE, Ala. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued FABCO Equipment Co. Inc. 19 safety and health citations after a September 2010 investigation at its facility in Albertville. Penalties total $71,764.
The hazards identified during the latest inspection served as a follow-up to one conducted in November 2009.
OSHA issued FABCO one failure-to-abate health citation with a proposed penalty of $7,700 alleging that the company failed to train employees in using and handling hazardous chemicals. A failure-to-abate citation is issued when an employer fails to fix or address previously cited hazardous conditions, practices or noncompliant equipment.
"This employer has continued to endanger its workers by failing to correct hazardous conditions," said Roberto Sanchez, OSHA's area director in Birmingham. "OSHA has no tolerance for this type of behavior."
The agency also issued FABCO four repeat safety and health citations with $24,794 in fines. The safety citations allege a lack of machine guarding and an electrical deficiency. The health citations allege a failure to provide medical evaluations for employees wearing respiratory protection, and not certifying that a proper hazard assessment had been performed and proper protective equipment identified. A repeat citation is issued when a violation of the same or a similar standard, regulation, rule or order is corrected but later recurs at the same facility or has been identified at another employer site in federal enforcement states within the past five years.
Additionally, four serious safety citations allege that FABCO failed to develop and utilize lockout/tagout procedures to prevent accidental machinery start-up, allowed improper use of forklift equipment and permitted two electrical deficiencies. Seven health citations were issued alleging a failure to implement sound engineering controls for overexposure to noise; implement a hearing conservation program; protect employees from hazards associated with exposure to a range of particulates; provide proper personal protection during blasting operations; train employees who wear respirators; have a hazard communications program; and label hazardous chemical containers. Penalties for the serious violations total $39,270. A serious citation is issued when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
The company also received three other-than-serious health citations with no proposed penalties for not obtaining a written medical recommendation for employees wearing respirators, failing to conduct initial monitoring for potential exposure to hexavalent chromium and a deficiency in the bloodborne pathogen program. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.
The fabrication company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The site was inspected by staff from OSHA's Birmingham Area Office located at 950 22 St. N., Suite 1050, Birmingham, Ala., 35203; telephone 205-731-1534.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.
U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The information above is available in large print, Braille, audio tape or disc from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.