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5/7/2012

IHOP Fined $25,000 after Workers Sickened by Chemical Exposure

Safety


OSHA has cited IHOP Restaurants for five alleged serious safety and health violations at its South Charleston, West Virginia, establishment. OSHA opened an inspection in February after nine employees were sent to the hospital as the result of being exposed to chlorine gas, which occurred when incompatible chemicals were mixed together. Proposed penalties total $25,000.

OSHA cited the company for hazards involving chemical exposure including the failure to conduct a personal protective equipment hazard assessment; develop and implement a hazard communication program; and provide required training, eye protection, eye wash facilities, and material safety data sheets for chemicals used in the workplace. 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.

Seventy-four workers are employed at the South Charleston IHOP.

Johnson Controls Battery Group Fined $188,600 for Lead Hazards

OSHA has cited Johnson Controls Battery Group Inc., of Holland, Ohio, for 11 alleged health violations—including one willful and two repeat—following an October 25 inspection that was initiated based on a complaint. Inspectors found workers overexposed to lead at the company’s Holland plant due to a lack of engineering controls and poor housekeeping practices. Proposed fines total $188,600.

The willful violation was issued for allowing workers to sweep lead particles with brooms and brushes, which can result in greater lead exposure than the preferred method of vacuuming. 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 first repeat violation involves employee exposed to lead over the permissible exposure level. The second repeat violation involves inadequate housekeeping in the pasting department. 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. Similar violations were cited in 2011 at the company’s Tampa, Florida, location.

Additionally, eight serious violations include exposing workers to ingoing nip points on the pasting lines as well as various violations of the lead standards, including a lack of adequate personal protective equipment, such as face shields and hand protection for employees working with molten lead; improperly worn respirators in an area where the permissible exposure limit for lead is exceeded; allowing lead-contaminated work boots to be stored in locker rooms where employees change into street shoes; failing to conduct air monitoring for employees exposed to lead for more than eight hours; and ensuring that workers wash their hands to remove contaminants prior to eating.

The citations may be viewed at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/JohnsonControlBatteryGroup_108096_0424_12.pdf.

Due to the willful and repeat violations, OSHA has placed Johnson Controls Battery Group Inc., in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program.

Johnson Controls Battery Group is a division of Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based Johnson Controls Inc., which manufactures automotive batteries and advanced batteries for start-stop, hybrid, and electric vehicles. Johnson Controls Inc., has manufacturing, recycling, and distribution centers worldwide, and employs more than 140,000 workers. The Holland plant employs more than 400 workers.

Prior to this inspection, Johnson Controls Battery Group has been inspected by OSHA 14 times since 2006, resulting in citations for 64 violations, including 15 final order citations for violations of lead standards.

40-Hour and 24-Hour HAZWOPER Training

Environmental Resource Center will offer 40-Hour Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) training May 14–18, and 24-Hour HAZWOPER training May 14–16, in Cary, North Carolina. To register for either HAZWOPER course, click here or call 1-800-537-2372.

Hilton Head RCRA and DOT Training

Register for Hazardous Waste Management: The Complete Course (RCRA) and DOT Hazardous Materials Training: The Complete Course, in Hilton Head, South Carolina, from May 23–25 and save $100. To take advantage of this offer, click here or call 1-800-537-2372.

Orlando RCRA and DOT Training

Register for Hazardous Waste Management: The Complete Course (RCRA) and DOT Hazardous Materials Training: The Complete Course, in Orlando, Florida, from May 30–June 1 and save $100. To take advantage of this offer, click here or call 1-800-537-2372.

Baltimore RCRA, DOT, and IATA/IMO Training

Register for Hazardous Waste Management: The Complete Course (RCRA) and DOT Hazardous Materials Training: The Complete Course, in Baltimore, Maryland, from June 5–7 and save $100. Transportation of Dangerous Goods: Compliance with IATA and IMO Regulations will be offered in Baltimore on June 8. To take advantage of the discount offer for the Baltimore RCRA and DOT combination, or to register for any of the Baltimore training courses, click here or call 1-800-537-2372.

How to Prepare for OSHA’s Globally Harmonized Hazard Communication Standard (GHS)

OSHA has issued a final rule revising its Hazard Communication Standard, aligning it with the United Nations’ globally harmonized system (GHS) for the classification and labeling of hazardous chemicals. This means that virtually every product label, MSDS (called “safety data sheet” or SDS under the new standard), and written hazard communication plan must be revised to meet the new standard. Worker training must be updated so that workers can recognize and understand the symbols and pictograms on the new labels as well as the new hazard statements and precautions on SDSs.

Environmental Resource Center is offering webcast training for you to learn how the new rule differs from current requirements, how to implement the changes, and when the changes must be implemented. Register for an upcoming webcast on How to Prepare for OSHAs Globally Harmonized Hazard Communication Standard (GHS) offered on the following dates:

  • May 18
  • June 26
  • July 18
  • August 15
  • October 2

How to Author GHS Safety Data Sheets

OSHA has adopted the new Globally Harmonized System (GHS) for the classification and labeling of hazardous chemicals. A cornerstone of GHS is the adoption of a completely revised Safety Data Sheet (SDS). In Environmental Resource Center’s new, How to Author GHS Safety Data Sheets webcast, you will learn the differences between the MSDS and SDS, how to author SDSs that meet the latest OSHA standards, how to classify your products according to the 28 GHS hazard classes and 88 categories, what must be entered in each section of the SDS, essential references you can use to locate data for each section of the SDS, and how to handle trade secrets.

To learn what you must do to meet the new SDS requirements, register for an upcoming How to Author GHS Safety Data Sheets webcast offered on the following dates:

  • June 27
  • October 3

How to Label Hazardous Chemicals Using OSHA’s New GHS Hazcom Standard

Workplace and supplier hazard communication labels are being reinvented with OSHA’s adoption of the new Globally Harmonized System (GHS) for labeling hazardous chemicals. In a new, interactive Environmental Resource Center webcast, How to Label Hazardous Chemicals Using OSHA’s New GHS Hazcom Standard, you will learn the difference between workplace and supplier labels; what signal words, hazard statements, precautionary statements, and pictograms must be on your labels; essential references you can use to locate required label information; and how to label products with existing HMIS, NFPA, DOT, and CPSC labels.

The How to Label Hazardous Chemicals Using OSHA’s New GHS Hazcom Standard webcast will be offered on the following dates:

  • June 28
  • October 4

Adams Thermal Systems Cited after Worker Fatally Crushed; Placed in Severe Violator Enforcement Program

OSHA has issued Adams Thermal Systems Inc., of Canton, South Dakota, three citations for willful safety violations that expose workers to unsafe conditions at the engine cooling systems manufacturing facility. OSHA’s inspection was initiated after an employee was fatally crushed while operating equipment on November 7, 2011.

The violations are failing to develop energy control procedures, provide machine guarding, and effectively train employees on recognizing hazardous energy and taking safety precautions.

Due to the willful nature of the violations, OSHA has placed Adams Thermal Systems in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program.

The facility had been inspected four times previously by OSHA. In 2004, an employee lost four fingers in a machine guarding-related incident. OSHA cited the employer with a willful violation for failing to provide adequate guarding. In 2011, an investigation was initiated after an employee had several fingers crushed while operating a press, and OSHA cited a serious violation for failing to provide adequate protection.

Proposed penalties for the most recent citations total $210,000. To view the citations, visit: http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/AdamsThermalSystemsCitations2012.pdf.

Adams Thermal Systems employs about 720 workers.

Sorrento Lactalis Fined $241,000 for Deficencies in the Process Safety Management Prgoram

OSHA has cited Sorrento Lactalis Inc., for 13 alleged repeat and serious violations of workplace health and safety standards at its Buffalo, New York, production facility. The cheese manufacturer faces a total of $241,000 in proposed fines. An inspection by OSHA’s Buffalo Area Office identified several deficiencies in the plant’s Process Safety Management program, a detailed set of requirements and procedures employers must follow to proactively address hazards associated with processes and equipment involving large amounts of hazardous chemicals. The chemical in this case was anhydrous ammonia, which is used in the plant’s refrigeration system.

Specifically, OSHA found a lack of procedures and tests to maintain the ongoing mechanical integrity of process equipment, no written procedures to manage changes to the equipment, incomplete written operating procedures, and a failure to document that process equipment complies with recognized and generally accepted good engineering practices. These conditions resulted in the issuance of five repeat citations with $192,500 in proposed penalties. OSHA cited Sorrento Lactalis in 2008 and 2011 for similar hazards at its Nampa, Idaho, plant.

Eight serious citations with $48,500 in proposed fines were issued for not conducting equipment inspections consistent with good engineering practices, not updating process safety information, and using an unsecured electrical cable, as well as a lack of lockout/tagout procedures, inspections and training to isolate the energy sources of machinery to prevent unintended activation during maintenance work.

The citations to Sorrento Lactalis can be viewed at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/SorrentoLactalisinc_316029602_0423_12.pdf.

Gordy’s Pump Service Fined $137,000 after Worker Killed in Trench Collapse

OSHA has cited River Falls, Wisconsin-based Gordy’s Pump Service with five safety—including two willful—violations as the result of an inspection conducted after a 19-year-old worker died when an unprotected trench collapsed at a Spring Valley, Wisconsin, job site on November 3, 2011.

The 19-year-old and one other worker had just finished locating an existing waterline in the trench using a hand-held shovel when a sidewall caved in. The trench was approximately 220 feet long, 6 feet deep, and 2 feet wide. The other worker was not injured.

The willful violations include failing to provide required cave-in protection and a means of egress from the trench.

Three serious violations include failing to ensure the use of head protection, keep spoil piles at least 2 feet back from the excavation’s edge, and train employees working in trenches to recognize excavation hazards.

OSHA standards mandate that all excavations five feet or deeper be protected against collapse. Detailed information on trenching and excavation hazards is available at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/trenchingexcavation/index.html.

Due to the willful violations, OSHA has placed Gordy’s Pump Service in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program, which mandates targeted follow-up inspections to ensure compliance with the law. The program focuses on recalcitrant employers that endanger workers by committing willful, repeat, or failure-to-abate violations.

The citations can be viewed at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/GordysPumpService_108561_04-30-2012.pdf.

Proposed fines for the citations total $137,000.

Tennessee Trucking Company to Reinstate Whistleblower, Pay More than $180,000

OSHA has ordered Brush Creek, Tennessee-based Mark Alvis Inc., owner Mark Alvis, and company dispatcher Jack Taylor to reinstate a former employee and pay him more than $180,000 in back pay, interest, and compensatory and punitive damages. Mark Alvis Inc., is a commercial motor carrier that transports goods throughout the US.

The order follows OSHA’s determination that the company violated the employee’s rights under the whistleblower provisions of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act (STAA) by terminating him for his refusal to drive while fatigued and ill as well as to violate the hours-of-service requirements outlined in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.

On May 4, 2010, the employee was assigned to deliver a truck of milk to a Kroger Supermarket in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. During the process of inspecting one of the tankers for readiness, he slipped and banged his chest and stomach against the ladder. Although he felt pain, he thought it would go away. The next day, the employee proceeded with the delivery as planned, and upon arriving in Murfreesboro, was instructed to perform another delivery. The employee informed Taylor that he could not proceed with another delivery at that time because he was ill and fatigued, and did not have sufficient allowable service hours remaining to do so according to federal regulations. The employee then returned to the company’s yard site in Brush Creek, where he was told to remove his belongings from his truck. The company asserted to OSHA that the employee quit upon removing his belongings. However, OSHA conducted an investigation—which was initiated upon receiving a whistleblower complaint from the employee—that found evidence showing the employee was terminated for refusing to conduct the last ordered delivery.

The order issued by OSHA also requires the trucking company to expunge any adverse references relating to the discharge from the complainant’s personnel records, and to post a notice for employees and provide a fact sheet to them with notification of their rights under the STAA.

OSHA enforces the whistleblower provisions of the STAA and 20 other statutes protecting employees who report violations of various airline, commercial motor carrier, consumer product, environmental, financial reform, food safety, health care reform, nuclear, pipeline, public transportation agency, railroad, maritime, and securities laws.

Employers are prohibited from retaliating against employees who raise various protected concerns or provide protected information to the employer or the government. Employees who believe they have been retaliated against for engaging in protected conduct may file a complaint with the secretary of labor for an investigation by OSHA’s Whistleblowers Protection Program.

Nabors Drilling USA Fined $152,100 for Violations at Oil Drilling Sites

OSHA has cited Houston, Texas-based Nabors Drilling USA L.P., with three serious, four repeat, and three alleged other-than-serious violations for exposing workers to numerous safety and health hazards at two oil rig drilling sites. Proposed penalties total $152,100.

OSHA’s Houston North Area Office began its investigation of both rigs on November 17, 2011, as part of the agency’s regional emphasis program on the oil and gas industry, and found that platforms were not properly guarded, emergency escape lines were kinked, and eye wash stations did not function properly, among other hazards.

The serious violations include failing to follow manufacturers’ safety requirements for emergency escape lines, provide guardrails on walkways next to hazardous equipment, and adequately maintain a derrick ladder.

The repeat violations include failing to guard floor holes, provide a guardrail system, or equivalent fall protection at other openings, and provide access to emergency eyewash and shower stations. Similar violations were cited at a Corpus Christi oil rig in 2009.

The other-than-serious violations include failing to ensure the proper use of electrical equipment and maintain the required injury and illness record-keeping logs. 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 citations can be viewed at

http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/Nabors-Drilling-USA-LP-316065416-0503-12.pdf.

http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/Nabors-Drilling-USA-LP-316065440-0503-12.pdf.

Nabors Drilling employs about 7,000 workers nationwide.

Raymond J. Cawley Contracting, Inc. Fined for Cave-In Hazards

OSHA has proposed fines totaling $117,740 against Newport, Rhode Island-based Raymond J. Cawley Contracting Inc., for allowing cave-in and other hazards while workers were excavating to replace a sewer line.

An OSHA inspection found two workers in an 8-foot-deep trench improperly shored or sloped to prevent sidewalls from caving in. Excavated materials were placed at the edge of the trench, which also lacked a sufficiently tall ladder that workers could use to exit swiftly and safely. Additionally, the workers were not wearing protective helmets, which exposed them to being struck by an operating backhoe’s bucket and the material falling out of it. Finally, the employer failed to adequately train workers to recognize hazards and to have the trench inspected by someone with the authority to correct any hazards found.

As a result of OSHA’s inspection, citations have been issued for a willful violation—the unguarded trench—carrying a $70,000 fine; two repeat citations, with $18,480 in fines, for a ladder of inadequate length and a lack of protective helmets; and six serious citations, with $29,260 in fines, for remaining items. The citations can be viewed at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/Cawley314920224_FINAL.pdf.

Similar citations were issued in 2008 for violations at a Newport job site.

Kamps Inc. Fined $101,000 for Lack of Hearing Conservation Program

OSHA has cited Kamps Inc., for ten safety and health violations—including one willful—at its Versailles, Ohio, wood pallet manufacturing facility. OSHA’s inspection was initiated on November 4, 2011, under the agency’s Site-Specific Targeting Program, which expands the scope of a routine inspection to cover all hazards associated with the employer’s industry. Proposed fines total $101,000.

The willful safety violation involves a lack of audiometric testing to determine workers’ exposure to noise greater than 85 decibels for a time-weighted average of eight hours.

One serious health violation is failing to provide workers with hearing conservation training and the appropriate hearing protection. Four serious safety violations involve failing to use equipment in a manner consistent with labels, provide safety training to maintenance workers performing live electrical work, ensure that authorized workers conduct periodic inspections of energy control procedures, and provide personal protective equipment for employees performing electrical work.

Four other-than-serious health and safety violations involve failing to post OSHA’s hearing conservation standard, provide a selection of hearing protection options, ensure that lockout devices indicate the identity of the workers applying the devices, and ensure that the path to ground on branch electrical circuits is maintained.

The citations can be viewed at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/Kamps-108617-108713-0423-12.pdf.

Grand Rapids, Michigan-based Kamps Inc., employs approximately 500 workers across the Midwest.

Murphy Wall Products International Fined for Forklift and Crane Violations

OSHA has cited Fort Worth, Texas-based Murphy Wall Products International Inc., with 11 serious, three repeat, and one other-than-serious violation for exposing workers to safety hazards at its Houston facility. Proposed penalties total $90,090.

OSHA’s Houston North Area Office initiated an inspection on January 4 at the company’s Rittenhouse Street location as part of the agency’s Site-Specific Targeting Program for injuries with high injury and illness rates. Multiple safety violations were found while employees were using forklifts to move products, lifting materials with a crane, and operating box compactors.

The serious violations include failing to replace a hook latch on a crane; remove an industrial truck with damaged tires from service; provide required machine guarding for fan blades, pulleys, and belts; ensure that a general duty safety switch is properly used; and properly label breaker panels.

The repeat violations involve failing to provide machine guarding for the bench grinder and its adjustable tongue. Similar violations were cited in 2009.

The other-than-serious violation involves inadequate electrical cord strain relief.

Murphy Wall Products International, which employs about 14 workers, manufactures wall compounds, paints, and primers.

Stillion Brothers Excavation Cited for Failing to Protect from Possible Trench Collapses

OSHA has cited Perrysburg, Ohio-based Stillion Brothers Excavation Inc., with five safety violations—including two willful—for failing to protect workers from trench cave-ins at a job site in Columbus Grove, Ohio. Proposed penalties total $72,820.

OSHA initiated an inspection on December 15, 2011, under the agency’s National Emphasis Program on Trenching and Excavation. Six workers were installing 20-foot-long steel plates into a 12-foot-deep trench using a hydraulic excavator with a swivel hook that was not equipped with a safety latch.

The willful violations are failing to provide required cave-in protection and remove defective rigging on the excavator from service.

Three serious violations include a lack of fall and head protection, and not having a working backup alarm on the excavator.

The company was cited for violating OSHA’s trenching protection standards in March 2011 at a Westminster site and in August 2010 at a Caldwell site.

White Star Roofing, Inc. Cited for Willful Violations of Fall Prevention Requirements

White Star Roofing Inc., has been cited by OSHA for eight safety violations—including one willful violation. OSHA initiated an inspection after a compliance officer noticed potential violations at a work site in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where the company’s workers were putting a new roof on a building. Proposed penalties total $62,400.

The willful citation, with a $42,000 penalty, was issued for allowing workers to operate on a steep roof without personal fall arrest systems. Management indicated an awareness of OSHA’s safety standards but admitted to compromising for economic reasons.

Seven serious safety violations involve failing to train workers on fall prevention awareness, using personal fall arrest devices such as harnesses, and how to maintain protective equipment; provide personal protective equipment such as gloves and eyewear when workers are mopping hot asphalt on roofs; provide protective head gear to employees working below roof eaves; conduct regular inspections of the work site to identify potential hazards; and develop and implement a hazard communication program. The citations carry penalties of $20,400.

Union Drilling Cited for Repeat Workplace Hazards

OSHA has cited Union Drilling Inc., with two repeat workplace safety and health violations at the Meyers Unit 1H gas well located near Burlington, Pennsylvania. OSHA’s inspection was initiated as part of the agency’s Oil and Gas Service Industry Local Emphasis Program. Proposed penalties total $70,000.

The violations include failing to guard a floor hole, and provide suitable eye and body-drenching or flushing facilities for employees exposed to corrosive materials. Similar violations were cited at a Salladasburg work site in 2009 and a Waterville work site in 2011.

Fort Worth, Texas-headquartered Union Drilling Inc., provides contract land drilling services and equipment to oil and natural gas producers, and employs 12 workers at the Burlington-area gas well.

Metal Fabricator Fined $54,600 for Combustible Residue and Other Hazards

OSHA has cited Southern Perfection Fabrication Holdings Inc., in Byron, Georgia, with 15 serious safety and health violations, including exposing workers to combustible residues and flammable liquids in the spraying and power coating areas without adequate precautions to prevent fires and explosions. An inspection of the Byron metal fabrication shop was initiated in November 2011 based on a complaint. Proposed penalties total $54,600.

The violations include, among others, failing to train workers on the use of fire extinguishers; periodically inspect fire extinguishers; conduct air sampling in the powder coating area where excessive amounts of airborne particles exceeded the permissible exposure limit; assess the need for personal protective equipment; develop a hearing conservation program; limit exposure to noise hazards; provide a written respiratory protection program; train on the use of a respirator; provide written hazard communication and respiratory protection programs; and train workers in the use of personal protective equipment such as safety glasses, face shields, protective gloves, and clothing when performing powder coating operations.

Lakeview Specialty Hospital Fined for Inadequate Workplace Violence Safeguards

OSHA has cited Lakeview Neurorehab Center Midwest, which operates as Lakeview Specialty Hospital in Waterford, Wisconsin, for exposing employees to workplace violence at the health care facility and treatment center, among other violations. OSHA has proposed penalties of $12,000.

OSHA initiated an investigation following a complaint that a worker had been severely beaten and threatened by a client at the facility on September 28, 2011, as well as filed a police report with the Racine County Sheriff’s Department.

As a result of its investigation, which revealed that staff members at the facility had been assaulted numerous times, OSHA has cited the employer for a serious violation of the agency’s general duty clause for failing to provide a workplace free from recognized hazards likely to cause serious injury or death. A second serious violation has been cited due to the lack of a lockout/tagout program for equipment with multiple energy sources.

Additionally, OSHA has cited three other-than-serious violations involving record-keeping errors, which include a lack of entries for lost or restricted work days due to injury or illness on the OSHA 300 logs during 2011, failing to annually evaluate and inspect the energy control program, and failing to conduct annual reviews and updates of the bloodborne pathogen program.

Lakeview Specialty Hospital, which employs about 325 workers, consists of a long-term acute care hospital, a community-based residential facility for adults, a residential care center for children and a special education school. It is affiliated with Lakeview NeuroRehabilitation Center in Effingham, New Hampshire. The affiliated group employs about 1,000 workers and also operates Lakeview NeuroCare in Lewistown, Pennsylvania.

OSHA’s Guidelines for Preventing Workplace Violence for Health Care & Social Service Workers resource is available online at http://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3148/osha3148.html.

Additional information on workplace violence is available at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/workplaceviolence/index.html.

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