Jan. 27, 2015
P & W Painting again exposes workers to workplace dangers
OSHA identifies 9 violations for allowing fall hazards and operation of faulty machinery
TOLEDO, Ohio – Twice in two years, employees at P & W Painting Contractors were found in danger of falling as they worked on top of machines and elevated platforms more than 14 feet off the ground. After a complaint was filed, U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspectors identified one repeated and eight serious safety violations, including lack of fall protection and forklift hazards at the company's Toledo facility. OSHA has proposed penalties of $40,040.
"Once again, P & W has failed to protect its employees. At dangerous heights without fall protection, their laborers were placed at risk of a potentially fatal or debilitating fall. On-the-job falls lead to hundreds of deaths and injuries each year," said Kim Nelson, OSHA's area director in Toledo. "P & W must change its culture, and stop ignoring regulations that protect the safety of workers."
Fatal falls, slips or trips killed 699 workers in 2013, with falls to a lower level accounting for 574 of those fatalities. Fall hazards are the most frequently cited OSHA standard.
OSHA issues repeated violations if an employer previously was cited for the same or a similar violation of any standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years.
In addition to the fall hazards, P & W also used forklifts that had been modified without manufacturer approval and allowed employees to use damaged forklifts. Inspectors also found that brakes and warning signals on overhead cranes were not working. The company also was cited for exposing workers to dangerous operating machine parts because it failed to train workers and provide devices to prevent unintentional operation of machinery.
An OSHA violation is serious if death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard an employer knew or should have known exists.
P & W has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and 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.
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 Toledo Area Office at 419-259-7542.
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.
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Release Number: 15-22-CHI
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