Scrap metal recycler cited by US Labor Department's OSHA for exposing
Butte, Mont., workers to multiple safety hazards, including amputations
California-based A&S Metals faces $59,000 in proposed fines
BILLINGS, Mont. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited A&S Metals with 12 safety violations for exposing workers to multiple hazards at the company's facility in Butte. OSHA conducted its inspection in July and has proposed $59,000 in penalties.
"It is very fortunate that no employee suffered an amputation or other serious injury as a result of the safety violations identified at this facility," said Jeff Funke, director of OSHA's Billings Area Office. "OSHA is addressing machine guarding hazards through a national emphasis program that is focused on preventing amputations and fatalities in selected industries."
Inspectors found 10 serious violations, some of which involve exposing workers to unguarded equipment such as a drill press, a metal compactor, alligator shears and a vertical portable grinder. The violations also include improper housekeeping, overhead crane and rigging hazards, incomplete handrails, the unsecured storage of compressed gas cylinders and electrical issues. Citations for the serious violations carry $58,000 in penalties. 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.
Two other-than-serious violations are failing to provide injury and illness logs in a timely manner, which carries a $1,000 penalty, and improperly certifying injury and illness summary forms. 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.
A&S Metals, based in Castroville, Calif., is a scrap metal recycling, demolition and concrete aggregate crushing contractor with more than 200 employees in Montana and California. The company has 15 business days from receipt of the 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 Billings office at 406-247-7494.
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.