US Labor Department's OSHA proposes $148,000 in fines to Loveland Products
in Fairbury, Neb., for process safety management deficiencies, other hazards
OMAHA, Neb. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Loveland Products Inc. in Fairbury for 25 safety violations, 14 of which relate directly to OSHA's standard regulating the process safety management of highly hazardous chemicals. Proposed penalties total $148,000.
OSHA initiated its inspection of the liquid-based fertilizer producer under both the agency's Site-Specific Targeting Program for industries with high occupational injury and illness rates, and its process safety management national emphasis program for chemical manufacturers. OSHA's PSM standard contains specific requirements for the management of hazards associated with processes using dangerous chemicals, and establishes a comprehensive management program integrating technologies, procedures and management practices. Additional information is available online at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/processsafetymanagement/index.html.
"OSHA has a stringent process safety management standard, and it is imperative that employers rigorously update and properly maintain each element of the process to minimize hazards, and provide a safe and healthful workplace for employees," said Charles E. Adkins, OSHA's regional administrator in Kansas City, Mo. "OSHA is committed to protecting workers and educating employers about the risks involved with exposure to hazardous chemicals."
Of 24 serious violations, those related to process safety management include incorrect and incomplete process and implementation diagrams, a deficient process hazard analysis of the system, incomplete operating procedures, an inadequate mechanical integrity program for the system, inappropriate inspections and tests of the system, and a lack of hot work permits. OSHA also found compliance audits to be insufficient and that the employer failed to follow up on compliance audit findings. Other serious violations involve electrical hazards as well as deficiencies with walking/working surfaces, overhead storage, an emergency action plan, hazard communication and procedures for the lockout/tagout of energy sources. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard that the employer knew or should have known.
One other-than-serious violation with no penalty was issued for failing to document powered industrial truck training. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.
The citations can be viewed at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/LovelandProd_314061896_0123_12.pdf*.
Loveland Products Inc. has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director in Omaha 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 Omaha Area Office at 402-553-0171.
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, audio tape or disc from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.
* Accessibility Assistance Contact OSHA's Office of Communications at 202-693-1999 for assistance accessing PDF materials.