US Department of Labor's OSHA finds 58 safety and health violations at
Hoover Dam Hydroelectric Power Plant in Boulder City, Nev.
BOULDER CITY, Nev. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration found 50 alleged serious and eight repeat safety and health violations during a comprehensive investigation at the Hoover Dam Hydroelectric Power Plant located 30 miles southeast of Las Vegas. The U.S. Department of Interior's Bureau of Reclamation maintains and operates the power plant.
"We are concerned to have found this number of serious safety and health violations at the Hoover Dam plant," said Ken Atha, OSHA's regional administrator in San Francisco. "We expect to work closely with the agency to rectify these deficiencies and provide a safe and healthful work environment for employees."
The 50 serious safety and health violations include fall and electrical hazards, a lack of required guards on machinery, inadequate personal protective equipment, lead contamination, and the potential for overexposure to hexavalent chromium. OSHA also identified violations for failing to properly maintain and inspect firefighting equipment, provide unobstructed access to emergency exits, and insufficient lockout/tagout procedures for energy sources that could lead to amputations. 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 eight repeat violations include failing to anchor a drill press, implement proper machine guarding, correct multiple electrical violations and properly mount and maintain portable fire extinguishers. A violation is designated as a repeat violation when OSHA has previously notified an employer of the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule, or order at any of its facilities within the last five years. OSHA inspected 25 Bureau of Reclamation facilities nationwide over the past five years, including a previous investigation at the Hoover Dam in October 2010.
The Bureau of Reclamation has 15 business days from receipt of the notices to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or appeal the notices by submitting a summary of its position on the unresolved issues to OSHA's regional administrator.
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742).
The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 requires federal agencies to comply with the same health and safety standards as private sector employers. Under Section 19 of the OSH Act and Executive Order 12196, the head of each agency is responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for his or her employees.
The federal agency equivalent of a private sector citation is a notice of an unhealthful or unsafe working condition, which informs agency officials of violations. OSHA cannot propose monetary penalties against another federal agency for failing to comply with its standards. 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 or CD from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.