Nov. 26, 2014
Metal fabricator continues to expose workers to amputation and other hazards
Steel Fabrication Services Inc. cited for 15 safety and health violations; fines total $163,270
FARMERS BRANCH, Texas – Workers are continually exposed to amputation hazards at Steel Fabrication Services Inc. in Farmers Branch, according to an inspection by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The company has been cited for 15 violations after it failed to correct hazardous conditions previously cited that could cause serious injury or death. OSHA began its follow-up inspection in May 2014 and has proposed $135,880 in civil penalties.
The inspection began after the company failed to abate violations cited in February 2014. OSHA inspectors found workers exposed to electric shock hazards, being struck-by objects and being crushed or caught in between heavy equipment and machinery.
"Steel Fabrication Services' failure to correct hazardous conditions could have cost a life," said Stephen Boyd, OSHA's area director in Dallas. "Putting workers in danger is unacceptable. The employer has a legal and moral responsibility to fix these hazards immediately."
OSHA's Dallas Area Office cited Steel Fabrication Services for two willful violations, with a penalty of $77,000, for willfully exposing workers to crushing hazards by failing to guard a metal shear machine and provide forklift training. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirement, or with plain indifference to employee safety and health.
The company was also cited for two repeat violations, with a $7,920 penalty, for failing to guard horizontal drill presses and to keep oxygen cylinders separate from fuel gas cylinders. OSHA identified similar hazards during its February 2014 inspection.
Two citations carrying a $36,000 penalty were issued for the company's failure to provide machine guards on drill presses at the point of operation. Called failure-to-abate notices, these citations are issued when a condition, hazard or practice found upon reinspection remains uncorrected.
In addition, the agency issued eight citations for serious violations, including employee exposure to welding rays; failure to label hazardous chemicals; and failure to guard horizontal shafts, belts, pulleys, bench grinders and points of operation. 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. Fines for the serious citations total $14,520. OSHA also cited and fined the company $440 for not maintaining required injury and illness records on OSHA 300 logs*.
Steel Fabrication Services employs 24 workers who manufacture fabricated parts, weldments and finished products in carbon and stainless steel, aluminum and other materials. The employer 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 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 District Office at 972-952-1330.
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.
Release Number: 14-2163-DAL
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