Sept. 10, 2014
Workers exposed to amputation hazards at Peoria, Illinois, tower manufacturer
OSHA cites Rohn Products LLC for 11 serious health and safety violations
PEORIA, Ill. – After an inspection by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Rohn Products LLC has been cited for 11 serious safety and health violations at its steel tower manufacturing plant on Plank Road in Peoria. Many of the violations involve exposing workers to amputation* and crushing hazards during the daily operation of dangerous machinery. Proposed penalties total $66,700.
"Failing to protect workers from moving machine parts can result in serious injuries, such as amputations, being caught-in and crushed by machinery," said Thomas Bielema, OSHA's area director in Peoria. "Employers, such as Rohn Products, who use large industrial machines like this have a responsibility to ensure workers in their plants are trained in and use available safety procedures."
OSHA opened the inspection March 14, 2014, under the National Emphasis Program on Amputations. Amputation hazards, such as lack of machine guarding and failure to develop procedures to prevent machinery from operating during servicing and maintenance, are among the most frequently cited OSHA hazards.
The serious safety violations involved failure to develop and document specific lockout/tagout procedures for machinery and train workers about their importance. Additionally, unguarded mechanical power presses exposed workers to operating machine parts.
OSHA's inspection found health violations at the facility, where the company failed to establish a respiratory protection program and implement procedures for required respiratory use. Rohn Products did not develop a hearing conservation program to prevent employees from exposure to noise levels that could cause permanent hearing damage.
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
Rohn Products' headquarters are located on Adams Street in Peoria, and the company has manufacturing plants on Plank Road and Fairholm Avenue that make steel towers for the communications, wind energy, utilities, lighting and security fields. The company employs about 34 workers.
Rohn Products 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 Peoria office at 309-589-7033.
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: 15-1666-CHI
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