US Department of Labor's OSHA cites metal fabricator in Atmore, Ala.,
for 11 safety and health violations; proposes nearly $68,000 in penalties
ATMORE, Ala. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Escofab Inc. for 11 safety and health - including one willful - violations at the company's metal fabrication shop in Atmore. OSHA opened an inspection in October 2011 under the agency's Site-Specific Targeting Program, which directs enforcement resources to workplaces with higher-than-average rates of injuries and illnesses. Proposed penalties total $67,970.
The willful safety violation, which carries a $35,000 penalty, is failing to correct overhead gantry crane deficiencies. Escofab had the cranes inspected by a private consultant in 2008 and 2011 but failed to correct problems identified, including electrical hazards, and missing and broken parts. A willful violation is one committed with intentional knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.
Nine serious safety and health violations, with penalties of $32,970, include failing to conduct a load test on a gantry crane and on an underhung crane to ensure that operators were not exposed to falling loads, protect workers from exposure to electrical hazards while conducting machinery maintenance, protect workers from hazards associated with rotating machinery parts and fan blades, properly adjust a table grinder posing an amputation hazard, mark containers of hazardous chemicals and effectively train employees regarding potential chemical hazards. 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.
One other-than-serious health violation with no monetary penalty is failing to implement a respiratory protection program necessary for those employees who voluntarily choose to wear respirators while working. 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.
"Failing to correct known hazards places workers at risk, and OSHA will not allow management to let workers' safety and health be a low priority," said Joe Roesler, director of OSHA's Mobile Area Office.
The company has 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 Mobile office at 251-441-6131.
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.