US Department of Labor's OSHA cites Marietta Industrial Enterprises
in Marietta, Ohio, after worker's death at recycling facility
MARIETTA, Ohio – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Marietta Industrial Enterprises Inc., which operates Refuse Recycling in Marietta, for 21 safety, including two willful, violations. OSHA opened an inspection after a worker was found dead inside the rotating drum assembly of a machine used to screen recyclables from other refuse on March 30.
"Marietta Industrial Enterprises showed an intentional disregard for employee safety by failing to provide lockout/tagout training to workers performing maintenance inside rotating drums, which could easily be restarted if their energy sources were not properly cut off," said Deborah Zubaty, OSHA's area director in Columbus. "No one should ever lose his or her life because safety procedures were not followed. It is the employer's responsibility to train workers and ensure that the workplace is free from unnecessary hazards."
Two willful violations involve failing to implement lockout/tagout procedures to prevent equipment from becoming unexpectedly energized and to train workers in lockout/tagout procedures. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirement or plain indifference to employee safety and health.
Additionally, 14 serious violations involve failing to provide machine guarding, provide adequate guardrails, mark and illuminate emergency and exit signs, evaluate the workplace to determine if there were any confined spaces that would require permits, examine powered industrial trucks prior to each shift, ensure that employees used electrical protective equipment, provide electrically insulated tools, develop an exposure control plan for bloodborne pathogens, offer hepatitis B vaccines and label biohazard containers. 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.
Finally, five other-than-serious violations involve using work areas for storage, as well as failing to record work-related injuries, maintain clean conditions, provide a written respiratory protection program and provide employees with information for voluntary respirator use. 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 injury.
As a result of the investigation, Marietta Industrial Enterprises has been placed in OSHA's Severe Violator Enforcement Program. Initiated in June 2010, SVEP is intended to focus on recalcitrant employers that endanger workers by committing willful, repeat or failure-to-abate violations in one or more of the following circumstances: a fatality or catastrophe, industry operations or processes that expose workers to severe occupational hazards, employee exposure to hazards related to the potential releases of highly hazardous chemicals and all per-instance citation (egregious) enforcement actions. For more information on SVEP, visit http://www.osha.gov/dep/svep-directive.pdf*.
Proposed penalties total $186,300. The citations can be viewed at: http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/MARIETTA_INDUSTRIAL_ENTERPRISES_314593690_0922_11.pdf*
Marietta Industrial Enterprises Inc. 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. Employers and employees with questions regarding workplace safety and health standards can call OSHA's Columbus Area Office at 614-469-5582. To report workplace incidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, call the agency's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742).
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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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.