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Region 5 News Release: 11-473-CHI
April 13, 2011
Contact: Scott Allen      Rhonda Burke
Phone: 312-353-6976      312-353-4807
E-mail: allen.scott@dol.gov      burke.rhonda@dol.gov

US Labor Department's OSHA cites Howard Industries of Columbus, Ohio,
with 23 safety violations for electrical hazards, other violation

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Howard Industries, a chemical blending facility in Columbus, with 23 safety violations, including failing to protect workers from electrical hazards and to implement an effective lockout/tagout program to prevent the unexpected operation of machinery and equipment, among others. The company faces penalties totaling $71,280 as a result of a December 2010 inspection.

"Failing to provide employees with training and personal protective equipment to guard against electrical hazards creates an unnecessary safety risk," said Deborah Zubaty, OSHA's area director in Columbus. "Employers are responsible for knowing what hazards exist in their facilities and must take appropriate precautions by following OSHA standards to ensure that workers are not exposed to such risks."

Howard Industries was issued two repeat citations, with proposed penalties of $13,200, for failing to ensure electrical conductor boxes, which have the potential to create a shock hazard, were properly closed. 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. The company was cited with the same violation in March 2010.

The company was issued 18 serious citations with proposed penalties of $56,760 for failing to install handrails where required; mark doors as exit routes; provide written procedures for lockout and tagout of equipment with multiple energy sources; remove forklifts with known safety issues from service; use weather-safe electrical boxes; train workers in safe work practices regarding specific hazards associated with electrical energy; and require workers to use personal protective equipment to protect against electrical hazards. Additionally, the company was cited for modifying a forklift used to tow trailers and for misusing flexible cords, cables and attachment plugs. 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.

Howard Industries also was issued three other-than-serious citations with proposed penalties of $1,320 for failing to properly record and adequately describe injuries in the OSHA 300 log, and to mark floor load capacity for a storage area. 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 company 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. Employers and employees with questions regarding workplace safety and health standards can call OSHA's Columbus Area Office at 614-469-5582. 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 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.

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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.


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