April 12, 2016
Struck-by, amputation hazards to Houston workers lead OSHA
to levy $172K in fines against Alfa Laval, global manufacturer
Employer name: Alfa Laval Inc., global manufacturer of technologies in heat transfer, separation and fluid handling
Inspection Site: 12249-B FM 529, Houston, Texas
Citations issued: April 11, 2016
Investigation findings: Responding to a complaint, U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspectors opened their investigation on October 2015 at Alfa Laval Inc. They found eight serious, three repeat and two other violations. The company exposed workers, again - hence the repeat citations - for struck-by and amputation hazards by failing to implement an energy control program that included training, procedures or periodic inspections. They also failed to guard lathes to prevent workers' exposure to crushed-by and caught-in hazards, and failed to provide workers with effective workplace information and training on hazardous chemicals. OSHA cited Alfa Laval for the same or similar violations in an August 2011 inspection at its Lykens, Pennsylvania facility and in May 2012 inspection at its Wood Dale, Illinois, facility.
The serious violations include exposing workers to struck-by hazards from a hoist and overhead cranes; operating forklifts without wearing seat belts; not providing access to an eyewash and shower station; not providing personal protective equipment; using chemicals in spray bottles, without proper markings or labels; and not maintaining copies of the required safety data sheets for each hazardous chemical in the workplace.
Proposed Penalties: $172,700
Quote: "Working on a machine without safety guards can cost someone a limb or their life," said Joann Figueroa, OSHA's area director in the Houston North office. "Alfa Laval has a responsibility to find and fix hazards in the workplace which endanger its employees. OSHA will not tolerate employers that ignore commonsense safety requirements."
Information: Headquartered in Richmond, Virginia - with facilities in Illinois, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Texas - Alfa Laval has 35 employees working in Houston and approximately 2,000 employees nationwide. The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
To ask questions; obtain compliance assistance; file a complaint or report amputations, eye loss, 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 Houston North office at 936-760-3800. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.
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Juan Rodríguez, 972-850-4703, firstname.lastname@example.org
Release Number: 16-509-DAL
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