Oct. 28, 2014
Continental Fabricators Inc. cited by US Department of Labor's OSHA
for exposing workers to amputation, other serious hazards
ST. LOUIS – Continental Fabricators Inc. has been cited by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration for serious safety and health violations. The St. Louis-based steel fabricator, which has an injury rate higher than the national average, was issued 15 citations involving amputation*, confined spaces and electrical hazards. OSHA has proposed penalties of $52,500.
"Continental Fabricators demonstrates a company culture that does not put safety first. Workers should not be suffering fractures, sprains and muscular injuries on the job. These injuries are preventable by using personal protective equipment and following safety procedures," said Bill McDonald, OSHA's area director in St. Louis. "A high injury rate should be a wake-up call for any manufacturer to re-examine its safety procedures and training."
OSHA's inspection found several machines in the plant lacked emergency stop devices and adequate machine guarding, which exposed workers to amputation hazards. The company had inadequate lockout/tagout procedures to prevent unintentional operation of dangerous machinery during service and maintenance. Additionally, workers were not provided appropriate lockout/tagout devices or trained in their proper use.
Other violations were cited for failing to provide appropriate flame-retardant apparel to welders, use welding screens and train welders in the hazards of hexavalent chromium. The company also failed to inspect hooks and wire ropes on overhead cranes, used several damaged electric cords and did not comply with respiratory protection standards.
Continental Fabricators failed to comply with permit-required confined space standards, including having an attendant present while another employee was inside a confined space to identify potential hazards and provide a means of rescue.
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.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and notice of proposed penalties to contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. If the company does not file or contest within that period, it must abate the cited conditions within the period ordered in the citations and pay the proposed penalties.
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 St. Louis Area Office at 314-425-4249.
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.
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Release Number: 14-1895-KAN
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