US Labor Department's OSHA cites Lakewood, Colo., metal fabricator for
exposing workers to crushing hazards, proposes $82,600 in fines
Citations follow March incident in which crane dropped load, seriously injuring a worker
DENVER – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited G2K Corp., doing business as GBC Inc. in Lakewood with 13 safety violations. The violations follow a March incident in which a worker was seriously injured when an overhead crane dropped a load, pinning him to the ground and resulting in amputation at the knee. The citations include one willful and one repeat violation. They carry $82,600 in proposed penalties.
The willful violation was for failing to use an approved lifting device to attach the load to the hook of the overhead crane. An unapproved C-clamp slid off a 2,600-pound press brake ram as it was lifted, causing the ram to fall to the ground and pin the worker. A willful violation is one committed with intentional knowledge of or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.
The repeat violation was for failing to guard a lathe and two milling machines. 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. A similar violation was cited in 2009 at the Lakewood work site.
Some of the eight serious violations involve forklift-powered industrial trucks which include failing to provide seat belts; conduct daily inspections and train workers. The remaining serious violations include failure to inspect lifting slings and remove damaged slings from service; failing to secure grinders and drill presses to the floor; properly adjust work rests and peripheral guards on bench grinders; reduce compressed air used for cleaning purposes to less than 30 psi; and correct hazard communication program deficiencies. These deficiencies include failing to identify all hazardous chemicals in the workplace, failing to ensure chemical containers were properly labeled and failing to provide material safety data sheets for all chemicals. 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.
Three other-than-serious violations involve failing to label exit doors, failing to mark voltage ratings on electrical panels and make them accessible and failing to label circuit breakers. 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 employers' lack of preparedness is unconscionable, and OSHA will not tolerate exposing workers to such negligence," said David Nelson, OSHA's Englewood area director.
GBC Inc. is a custom metal fabricator and machining facility that employs approximately 50 workers. It has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director 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 Englewood Area Office at 303-843-4500.
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 242-693-7828 or TTY 242-693-7755.