US Labor Department's OSHA cites Troy, Ohio-based Hobart Brothers
with 55 safety and health violations, proposes $174,600 in fines
TROY, Ohio – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Hobart Brothers Co., a manufacturer of welding wire and ground power equipment for airplanes in Troy, with a total of 55 safety and health violations including inadequate lockout/tagout programs, fall protection and noise sampling, among others. Proposed penalties total $174,600.
OSHA opened an inspection under the agency's Site-Specific Targeting program, which focuses on companies with injury and illness rates that exceed national standards. Hobart Brothers' injury and illness rate in 2008 was 5.9 percent per 100 workers, and in 2009 it was 6 percent per 100. The 2008 national average was 3.9, and the 2009 average was 3.6.
Thirty-one serious safety violations with penalties of $121,500 involve failing to guard floor holes, provide adequate railings, unlock exit doors, isolate energy sources, guard machines, provide fall protection for workers required to be on the top of ovens, provide lockout/tagout procedures for the energy sources of equipment, train workers on hazardous energy sources, use and install equipment in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations, and provide appropriate personal protective equipment for employees performing energized electrical work.
Twelve serious health violations with penalties of $51,300 involve failing to sample noise levels, provide annual audiograms, train workers on hazard communication and provide confined space evaluations. 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.
Seven other-than-serious safety violations with no monetary penalties involve failing to store combustible rags in a covered metal receptacle, properly mark exit doors and train workers on fire hazards. Five other-than-serious health violations with proposed penalties of $1,800 were cited for failing to properly record injuries and illnesses as well as post noise standards. 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 develop and implement procedures to control hazardous energy and to provide fall protection exposes workers to amputations, falls and many other hazards while demonstrating this employer's lack of regard for workers' safety and health," said Bill Wilkerson, OSHA's area director in Cincinnati. "OSHA is committed to protecting workers on the job, especially when employers fail to do so."
The citations can be viewed at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/Hobart_Safety_98332_0302012.pdf* http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/Hobart_Health_98373_0302012.pdf*.
Hobart Brothers Co. 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 Cincinnati Area Office at 513-841-4132.
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.
* Accessibility Assistance Contact OSHA's Office of Communications at 202-693-1999 for assistance accessing PDF materials.