Region 7 News Release: 11-970-KAN
July 15, 2011
Contact: Rich Kulczewski
US Department of Labor's OSHA cites Bushnell Illinois Tank Co. in Nebraska
for exposing workers to multiple safety and health hazards
OMAHA, Neb. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Bushnell Illinois Tank Co., doing business as Schuld/Bushnell in Valley, for one willful, one repeat, 20 serious and one-other-than serious violation, following a combined safety and health inspection at the company's facility. Proposed penalties total $142,400.
OSHA's inspections of Schuld/Bushnell, which manufactures metal grain bins, were initiated in January under the agency's Local Emphasis Program for Powered Industrial Trucks and Other Material or Personnel Handling Motorized Equipment in Construction and General Industry.
"OSHA has a stringent confined space standard because employees entering and exiting a confined space could be exposed to serious hazards, including entrapment, engulfment and dangerous atmospheric conditions," said Charles E. Adkins, OSHA's regional administrator in Kansas City, Mo. "It is imperative that employers rigorously monitor and minimize the hazards of dangerous environments such as confined spaces, and that they provide an overall safe and healthful workplace for employees."
The willful violation involves allowing employees to work in permit-required confined spaces without having first written and implemented a confined space program. A willful violation is one committed with intentional knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.
The repeat violation is similar to an electrical violation cited in October 2006 for improper use of a flexible cord at the company's facility in Bushnell, Ill. 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 serious violations include misusing and overloading an under-hung hoist; using a damaged fiberglass ladder; exposing employees to falls of more than 4 feet; failing to properly train and document training of workers who operate industrial trucks; overloading an industrial truck; failing to inspect and remove damaged slings from service; using damaged slings to lift heavy objects; failing to guard a power-transmitting belt and pulley; exposing workers to more than 85 decibels of noise without a hearing conservation program; spray painting within 20 feet of spark-producing equipment; allowing voluntary respirator use without the required elements of a respirator program and without proper training; and allowing workers to enter a permit-required confined space without identifying hazards, providing proper training and equipment, testing atmospheric conditions and providing an attendant at all times. Electrical violations include exposing workers to shocks through a missing stop button in a control box, using an electrical cord without a ground plug and using an outlet box without a cover. Additionally, the employer failed to maintain material safety data sheets and train workers who use or store hazardous 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.
The other-than-serious violation involves failing to properly record injuries and illnesses on OSHA's 300 log. 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 the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director in Omaha or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The inspection was conducted by OSHA's Omaha Area Office; telephone 402-553-0174. 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.
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.