November 1, 2016
OSHA finds Ohio rail track repair kit manufacturer exposes workers to
machine, silica, falls, noise and other hazards; proposes $159K in fines
NAPOLEON, Ohio - An Ohio manufacturer of railroad track repair kits routinely exposed its workers amputation risks and other serious injuries as they serviced and maintained industrial core machine mixers, an inspection by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has found.
Acting on a complaint, OSHA inspectors found Railtech Boutet Inc. failed to develop procedures to power down and lockout operating parts, a process known as lockout/tag out. The agency cited the Napoleon-based employer for one willful, and 11 serious safety and health violations following its July 2016 investigation. In addition to the machine hazards, inspectors found workers exposed to air contaminants such as silica, noise and other hazards. Railtech Boutet faces proposed OSHA penalties of $159,631.
"All too often, OSHA finds employers are complacent with machine safety features and bypass them to speed production," said Kim Nelson, area director of OSHA's Toledo office. "Additionally, employers working with processes that can expose workers to silica, noise and other corrosive material must have procedures in place to minimize and monitor such exposure to ensure the long-term health of workers."
OSHA's inspection found the company failed to:
- Conduct air monitoring for contaminants such as silica.
- Implement a hearing conservation program.
- Install gates and guardrails to prevent falls at ladderway openings and around dangerous equipment.
- Guard operating parts of mixing equipment.
- Cover electrical junction boxes, unused openings in circuit breaker panels.
- Install an eyewash station near corrosive material.
- Develop a hazard communication program and train employees about hazardous materials in use.
- Store flammable liquid properly.
View current citations here.
Railtech Boutet 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.
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 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: 16-1985-CHI
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