US Labor Department's OSHA cites Schuld/Bushnell with repeat safety
violations after follow-up inspection at Valley, Neb., tank manufacturing plant
VALLEY, Neb. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Bushnell Illinois Tank Co., which operates as Schuld/Bushnell in Valley, with eight safety and health violations based on a follow-up inspection for hazards associated with workers who enter and work in permit-required confined spaces. Proposed penalties total $116,270.
Bushnell Illinois Tank Co. is located in Bushnell, Ill., and manufactures tanks for agriculture and commercial applications such as grain and feed storage.
OSHA initiated the follow-up inspection at Schuld/Bushnell in January 2012 to determine if hazardous conditions continued to exist after a January 2011 inspection resulted in citations of OSHA's permit-required confined space standard. The standard establishes procedures to protect workers who must enter, work in or exit spaces with configurations that hinder their activities. In addition, the configurations of such spaces may increase workers' exposure to hazards such as entrapment, engulfment and/or hazardous atmospheric conditions, which can lead to serious physical injury, illness or death.
A willful violation has been cited for the presence of these hazards without an employer permit-required confined space program. Workers entered tanks to weld the bottom to the cylinder, attach ladders and aeration fans, and apply sealant in the finishing area. A willful violation is one committed with intentional knowledge or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.
Four repeat violations involve failing to provide a permit-required confined space hazard evaluation prior to employee entry, provide appropriate equipment for making permit-required confined space entries, test and monitor permit-required confined space conditions prior to entry and train workers on entering permit-required confined spaces. These violations previously were cited during the 2011 inspection. 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.
Two serious violations relate to a lack of worker training to establish proficiency in permit-required confined space procedures and a lack of determination regarding exposure of employees to the chemical hexavalent chromium. 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.
One other-than-serious violation addresses hazards associated with failing to implement a respirator program relative to proper storage of respirators. 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.
"Employers have a responsibility to protect the safety of their workers on the job and to know the unique hazards that exist in their work environments," said Charles E. Adkins, OSHA's regional administrator in Kansas City, Mo. "Employers who are cited for repeat violations or in follow-up inspections have failed to demonstrate a commitment to workers' safety and health."
The citations in this case can be viewed at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/Cits_Insp316019215.pdf*.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of the 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 or CD 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.