Region 8 News Release: 11-1165-DEN (11-179)
Aug. 15, 2011
Contact: Mike Shimizu
US Labor Department's OSHA notifies Hill Air Force Base in
Ogden, Utah, of unsafe and unhealthful working conditions
Base cited for exposing employees to hazardous air contaminants
DENVER – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued notices to Hill Air Force Base in Ogden, Utah, for 32 serious and eight other-than-serious violations of safety and health standards. OSHA began its planned safety and health inspection of the U.S. Air Force base in January under the agency's targeted inspection program designed to focus on federal work sites experiencing a high number of work-related injury and illnesses.
Some of the serious violations involve employees exposed to air contaminants including hexavalent chromium, cadmium and methylene chloride; lack of engineering controls for air contaminants; lack of engineering controls for noise exposure; inadequate process safety management controls for sulfur dioxide; improper confined space entry procedures; lack of appropriate eye protection; not training workers on hazardous chemicals; improper training for emergency response; using an improper mobile ladder; and failure to properly record injuries and illnesses. 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 other-than-serious violations involve failing to properly maintain the OSHA 300 logs for work-related injuries and illnesses; document lockout/tagout procedures for energy sources; administer a respiratory protection program; determine through testing if employee chemical exposures are below the action level; and perform air monitoring for both cadmium and methylene chloride. 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.
"Among the violations found at the base, workers are exposed to excessive levels of hazardous air contaminants and providing necessary controls is critical to preventing disease," said Herb Gibson, OSHA's Denver Area Office director. "Many of these violations could have been corrected earlier if the base had implemented a more effective safety and health management system aimed at identifying workplace hazards and reducing the likelihood of harm to employees."
Under Executive Order 12196, federal agencies must comply with the same safety and health standards as private sector employers covered under the Occupational Safety and Health Act. The federal agency equivalent to a private sector citation is the Notice of Unsafe and Unhealthful Working Conditions, commonly called "the notice." The OSHA notice is used to inform establishment officials of violations of OSHA standards, alternate standards and 29 Code of Federal Regulations citable program elements. OSHA cannot propose monetary penalties against another federal agency for failure to comply with OSHA standards.
The notice will become a final order if the U.S. Air Force does not request an informal conference with OSHA's area director in Denver within 15 business days. This inspection was conducted by OSHA's Denver office; telephone 303-844-5285. To report workplace incidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, call the agency's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742).
Under Section 19 of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, the head of each agency is responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for all federal employees 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.