July 09, 2019 • Volume 18, Issue 12 • A twice monthly newsletter with information about workplace safety and health.
Labor Secretary Records New PSAs to Help Keep Workers Safe from Severe Weather Hazards
U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta recorded five new public service announcements discussing how to keep workers safe while performing cleanup and recovery operations following hurricanes, floods, and tornadoes. The 30-second audio messages, recorded in English and Spanish, cover potential hazards posed by chainsaws, downed power lines, unstable surfaces, contaminated floodwaters, and mold exposure.
Maine Roofing Contractor Faces $1.7 Million in Fines and Manslaughter Indictment after Worker’s Fatal Fall
OSHA cited Shawn D. Purvis, owner of Purvis Home Improvement Co., Inc., for egregious willful, repeat, and serious workplace safety violations following the fatal fall of a worker. Inspectors found that the owner knowingly failed to ensure that his workers used fall protection at two worksites. Purvis faces a total of $1,792,726 in penalties. On April 5, a grand jury indicted Purvis for manslaughter, charging that his repeated violations of OSHA’s fall protection standards caused his worker’s death. For details, see the news release.
Advisory Committee on Construction Safety to Meet in July
The Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health will meet July 17-18 at the U.S. Department of Labor in Washington, D.C. Members will address proposals to add a reference to the definition of “confined space” that applies to welding activities in construction and to clarify fit requirements for personal protective equipment in construction. Read the news release for more information on the meeting and a list of the committee members.
Alabama Auto Parts Manufacturer and Staffing Agencies Cited for Exposing Workers to Safety Hazards
OSHA cited automobile parts manufacturer Donghee Alabama, LLC, and two staffing agencies – J & C Enterprise, LLC, and Jian Enterprise, LLC – for exposing workers to caught-in and crushed-by hazards. The companies collectively face $145,438 in penalties. Inspectors found that workers were required to operate machines with non-functioning safety features designed to prevent entry into dangerous zones during the operating cycle. Read the news release for more information, and visit OSHA’s machine guarding webpage to learn how to prevent these hazards.
California Cites Fruit Processing Company for Amputation Hazards
California OSHA issued six citations and $79,245 in penalties to SFFI Company, Inc., after a worker’s hand was crushed while cleaning a rotating auger. Inspectors found that the company failed to train workers on safe lockout/tagout and control of hazardous energy procedures.
Florida Dollar Tree Store Cited for Stacking, Storing Merchandise Unsafely
Dollar Tree Store, Inc., faces $104,192 in penalties for exposing workers to struck-by, trip, and fall hazards due to unstable merchandise stacked in excess of 7-feet high in the path of an emergency exit. For more information, read the news release.
Water Company Cited After Worker Suffers Heat-Related Injury at Florida Worksite
OSHA issued two citations and $23,311 in penalties to Evoqua Water Technologies, LLC, for failing to protect workers from exposure to outdoor heat hazards and report a hospitalization within 24 hours. A worker was hospitalized for heat exhaustion after working in direct sunlight during welding and fabrication work. For more information, read the news release and visit OSHA’s heat illness prevention page.
Illinois Contractor Cited for Continuing to Expose Roofers to Fall Hazards
OSHA issued one serious and two willful violations and $196,905 in penalties to Florentino Rodriguez of DB Custom Carpentry, LLC, for failing to adequately protect workers from fall hazards. Companies owned by Rodriguez have been cited multiple times since 2013 for failing to provide fall protection. The employer currently owes more than $797,000 in outstanding penalties. OSHA has referred the employer to the U.S. Department of Treasury for debt collection. For more information, read the news release.
Nebraska Family Dollar Store Cited for Blocked Exit Routes and Other Hazards
Family Dollar Store was cited for safety violations after the company allowed equipment to block an exit route. OSHA issued four repeat and two serious safety citations after an inspection found that the store failed to ensure that emergency exit doors remain unlocked, secure compressed gas cylinders, follow manufacturer’s instructions when using electrical apparatus, and cover overhead lights. Proposed penalties total $302,147. For more information, read the news release and OSHA’s fact sheet on emergency exit routes.
Ohio Manufacturer Cited for Exposing Workers to Respiratory, Chemical, and Other Hazards
OSHA issued 23 citations and $183,738 in penalties to Ohio Gratings, Inc., for inadequate machine guarding and recordkeeping, failing to ensure that workers used personal protective equipment, and exposing workers to struck-by hazards and flammable liquids. For more information, read the news release, and visit OSHA’s webpage on controlling exposure to chemical hazards and toxic substances.
Aluminum Container Manufacturer in Ohio Cited After Worker Suffers Broken Arm
OSHA cited Silgan Containers Manufacturing Corp. for failing to train workers on energy control procedures, perform periodic inspections, and guard the machine’s pinch point that caused the worker’s injury. The company faces penalties of $106,080 for one repeat and three serious safety violations. For more information, read the news release.
Two Companies Cited After Fatal Fire at Pennsylvania Natural Gas Processing Plant
Energy Transportation LLC and MW Logistics Services LLC were cited for violating OSHA’s process safety management standard after one worker died and three others were hospitalized following a fire at a natural gas processing plant. Other violations included exposing workers to flammable vapor and liquid and failing to inspect the facility’s energy control procedures. The companies were issued penalties totaling $98,508. For more information, read the news release.
Tire Company Cited Following Worker Fatality at Texas Retreading Facility
OSHA issued 17 citations and $341,195 in fines to Southern Tire Mart, LLC, after a worker suffered fatal injuries while attempting to mount a truck tire rim. Inspectors determined that the company exposed workers to tire explosion, struck-by, fire, and smoke hazards; failed to provide a restraining device or barrier; and failed to implement lockout/tagout procedures. For more information, read the news release and read OSHA’s publication on servicing multi-piece and single-piece rim wheels.
Vermont Cites Lumber Company After Worker Suffers Serious Injury
Vermont OSHA issued four citations and $93,126 in penalties to Cersosimo Lumber Company, Inc., after a worker was seriously injured when his foot became entangled in the unguarded chain and sprocket of a trim saw he was trying to unjam. Inspectors concluded that the company failed to control hazardous energy and did not adequately protect workers with machine guarding. The company was previously cited for these violations in 2017.
Four Seasons Houston Becomes First Hotel to Receive OSHA VPP Star
The Four Seasons Houston became the first hotel to receive federal Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) approval as a Star participant. The company is protecting nearly 400 workers by implementing best practices, and an effective safety management program that includes reporting hazards and inspecting departments. VPP has helped the hotel reduce injury and illness rates to 77% below the industry average in 2018. Read the success story for more information.
Partnerships Promote Workplace Safety and Health During Construction Projects
- Ryan Companies US, Inc., signed a strategic partnership to promote worker safety during construction of a distribution center in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. The partnership addresses construction hazards, such as falls, electrical safety, heat stress, trenching, material handling, noise, and struck-by hazards, and silica exposure. For more information, read the news release.
- Mortenson Construction and Associated General Contractors of Georgia signed a three-year agreement to protect workers during construction of a poultry research laboratory in Athens. The goal of the partnership is to decrease worker injuries, illnesses, and exposures to health hazards; and increase safety and health training, and the number of employers with appropriate safety and health programs.
- Brasfield & Gorrie, LLC, signed a three-year agreement to protect worker safety and health during construction of a hotel in Oklahoma City. The partnership aims to reduce injuries, illnesses, and fatalities; control or eliminate workplace hazards; increase safety and health training; and help employers develop safety and health programs.
Alliance with Utility Contractors is Committed to Preventing Excavation Hazards
OSHA signed a two-year alliance with the National Utility Contractors Association of South Florida to reduce worker exposure to trenching and excavation hazards. The signing coincided with Trench Safety Stand-Down Week on June 17-21. The new alliance will focus on cave-in, silica, heat stress, and confined spaces hazards. For more information, see the news release.
SAFETY AND HEALTH RESOURCES
Featured Publication: Lighting the Way for Safety and Health Programs
A case study produced through OSHA’s Electric Transmission and Distribution Strategic Partnership illustrates how safety and health programs can protect workers from industry hazards, such as electrocutions, falls, fires, and explosions. The study provides examples of and inspirations for programs that can find and fix hazards before they harm workers.