Region 5 News Release: 11-1605-CHI
Nov. 21, 2011
Contact: Scott Allen Rhonda Burke
Phone: 312-353-6976 312-353-6976
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
US Department of Labor's OSHA cites Odom Industries in Milford,
Ohio, for altering injury and illness logs, other violations
MILFORD, Ohio – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Odom Industries in Milford for 38 safety and health violations, including three willful violations for allegedly amending the company's OSHA 300 injury and illness logs by removing all recordable injuries. OSHA initiated an inspection of the fabrication plant after receiving a complaint alleging that injured workers, who were unable to perform their normal jobs, were moved to other jobs to avoid recordable injuries on the OSHA 300 logs. Proposed fines total $90,760.
"Employers who alter injury and illness logs, and fail to conduct required training, demonstrate a lack of commitment to workplace safety and health," said Bill Wilkerson, director of OSHA's Cincinnati Area Office. "The injury and illness rate computed by OSHA shows that the company had a rate above the national average for a three-year period. OSHA is committed to protecting workers, especially when employers fail to do so."
Investigators determined the company intentionally amended OSHA 300 logs by removing all recordable injuries during the calendar years of 2008, 2009 and 2010. Using a medical access order, investigators found that the employer also failed to record other work-related injuries for the three calendar years. OSHA determined there were 14 work-related injuries in 2008, six in 2009 and seven in 2010 that should have been added to the logs. A willful health violation was cited for each of the three calendar years the logs were amended. A willful violation is one committed with intentional knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirement or plain indifference to employee safety and health.
Additionally, 16 serious safety violations were cited for failing to inspect and train employees in the use of personal protective gear, failing to conduct electrical safety training, the lack of fall protection, the lack of a lockout/tagout program for the energy sources of machines, the lack of machine guarding and the misuse of metal ladders. Three serious health violations also were cited for failing to conduct annual audiograms for employees exposed to noise hazards, failing to provide welding shields and screens, and failing to conduct hexavalent chromium training. 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.
Sixteen other-than-serious safety and health violations were cited, including failing to document inspections of crane hooks and chains, failing to establish a respiratory program including fit-testing, failing to provide medical evaluations and training, failing to conduct a hazard assessment for personal protective equipment needs and failing to inform employees about voluntary respirator use. 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.
Odom Industries 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. 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 Cincinnati office at 513-841-4132.
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.