US Department of Labor's OSHA cites 2 Davie, Fla., companies
for safety violations; proposes more than $59,000 in penalties
DAVIE, Fla. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited two Davie companies owned by the Maurer family, Merlin Industries Inc. and Thermal Concepts Inc., with 17 safety violations. OSHA began an inspection in September at Merlin Industries as part of the agency's National Emphasis Program on Amputations and then expanded the inspection to include Thermal Concepts once it was determined that both companies share the same building. Proposed penalties for the companies' violations total $59,100.
OSHA cited Merlin Industries for 11 serious violations with $48,300 in proposed penalties for failing to certify periodic inspections of energy control procedures, certify that training on energy control procedures was completed, anchor machines to the floor, guard gears and chains on fabrication equipment, properly store oxygen and acetylene cylinders, provide machine guarding and repair a variety of electrical deficiencies. Thermal Concepts has been cited for two serious violations with $10,800 in proposed fines for failing to guard open-sided floor areas as well as to store oxygen and acetylene cylinders away from combustible materials. A serious violation occurs 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.
Thermal Concepts also has been cited for four other-than-serious violations with no monetary penalties for failing to keep areas in the facility clean and orderly, not having floor load place cards available and posted in the warehouse, failing to mount a portable fire extinguisher and not removing a powered industrial truck from service that had broken tail lights. 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.
"Employers need to be proactive in addressing workplace hazards rather than waiting for OSHA inspectors to identify them," said Jaime Lopez, OSHA's acting director in Fort Lauderdale. "Employers are responsible for ensuring that their employees have a safe and healthful work environment."
Merlin Industries fabricates metal ductwork and equipment mainly used by Thermal Concepts, which installs heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems. The companies have 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request a conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Ft. Lauderdale Area Office at 954-424-0242.
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.