Houston metal fabricator fined $124,000 for failing to abate violations and
exposing workers to serious safety hazards
US Department of Labor's OSHA cites American Sheet Metal Co.
HOUSTON – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited American Sheet Metal Co. for failing to correct safety hazards. OSHA addressed these hazards-which included exposing employees to dangerous unguarded machinery-in a previous inspection. The company's Houston facility received four failure-to-abate violations, with a proposed penalty of $124,000.
OSHA's Houston North Area Office began its most recent investigation of American Sheet Metal on Nov. 26, 2013, after the company failed to provide the agency with proof of abatement regarding safety hazards found during an inspection on July 24, 2013. Because of the July inspection, OSHA cited American Sheet Metal with a proposed penalty of $11,600, which the company has not paid.
Following the November 2013 inspection, the company was cited for failing to guard dangerous machinery to prevent worker injuries, install seat belt on a forklift and repair broken fastener for a forklift fuel cylinder. A failure-to-abate condition exists when a previously cited violation continues unabated and the abatement date has passed. The date to complete the abatement was Aug. 27, 2013.
"American Sheet Metal was given adequate time to correct the hazardous conditions found at its facility, but has done nothing to abate the violations and continues to expose workers to hazards," said David Doucet, OSHA's area director in the Houston North Area Office. "The employer is responsible for providing a safe workplace and protecting its employees. OSHA's primary concern is ensuring that the company lives up to its responsibility. Anything less is unacceptable."
The citations can be viewed at https://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/AmericanSheetMetal_923046_0424_2014.pdf*
American Sheet Metal, which employs about 15 workers, specializes in the fabrication of sheet metal for use in the roofing industry. The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's Houston North area director, or contest the citations and proposed penalties 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), the agency's Houston North Area Office at 281-520-6171, or the Houston South Area Office at 281-286-0583.
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 exist 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 department's Reasonable Accommodation Resource Center converts departmental information and documents into alternative formats, which include Braille and large print. For alternative format requests, please contact the department at (202) 693-7828 (voice) or (800) 877-8339 (federal relay).
* Accessibility Assistance: Contact OSHA's Office of Communications at 202-693-1999 for assistance accessing PDF materials.