Trailer manufacturing facility in Sumner, Texas, cited by US Department of
Labor's OSHA for failing to protect workers from repeat hazards
PJ Trailers Manufacturing Co. fined $187,000 and cited with eight violations
DALLAS – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited PJ Trailers Manufacturing Co. Inc. with eight safety and health violations, which include five repeat violations, from a July follow-up inspection at the Sumner facility. Proposed fines total $187,000.
"These violations demonstrate the company's lax attitude toward protecting workers at this facility from serious injuries. OSHA will not tolerate such negligence," said Stephen Boyd, director of OSHA's Dallas Area Office. "Employers must provide a safe and healthy work environment for their employees."
OSHA's follow-up inspection found five repeat violations, with a penalty of $169,000, for failing to guard the point of operation on a press brake; close unused openings on electrical panel cabinets; ensure that flexible cords were connected to devices and fittings so tension was not transmitted to joints or terminal screws; ensure that workers are not exposed to concentrations of iron oxide fumes in excess of 8-hours; and protect workers from exposure to airborne concentrations of particulates while working in the abrasive blasting and powder coating area. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. The company was cited for similar violations in March 2011.
The company was also cited for three serious violations with a penalty of $18,000. The citations were issued for failing to ensure that cranes with broken safety latches were repaired or removed from service and failing to ensure that powered industrial trucks in need of repair were removed from service. 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.
OSHA has placed PJ Trailers in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program, which mandates targeted follow-up inspections to ensure compliance with the law. Initiated in March 2011, the program focuses on recalcitrant employers that endanger workers by committing willful, repeat or failure-to-abate violations. For more information on SVEP, visit http://s.dol.gov/J3.
The citations can be viewed at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/PJTrailers_935370_0130_14.pdf*
The trailer manufacturer has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's Dallas 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 Dallas Area Office at 214-320-2400.
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 or CD from the COAST office upon request by calling 292-693-7828 or TTY 292-693-7755.
* Accessibility Assistance: Contact OSHA's Office of Communications at 202-693-1999 for assistance accessing PDF materials.