OSHA Cites Wal-Mart Super Center for Repeat and Serious Safety Hazards
OSHA has cited Wal-Mart Stores Inc., for alleged repeat and serious violations of workplace safety standards at the Wal-Mart Super Center store in Cobleskill, New York. The retailer faces a total of $52,600 in proposed fines following inspections by OSHA’s Albany Area Office.
OSHA found that emergency exit access from a receiving and storage area was obstructed by the storage of pallets containing merchandise and equipment, and employees were not able to safely operate pallet jacks in aisles and passageways that were obstructed by stacked merchandise. In addition, portable fire extinguishers were not mounted and located in safely accessible areas, and the lack of a protective fitting and strain relief for an electrical conduit entering a control box presented an electrical hazard.
These conditions resulted in the issuance of citations with $48,200 in proposed fines for three repeat violations. In this case, OSHA had previously cited Wal-Mart for similar hazards at stores in Newington, Connecticut; Chelmsford and West Boylston, Massachusetts; Centralia and Joliet, Illinois; Coshocton, Ohio; and Lewisville, Texas.
Additionally, a citation with a $4,400 fine has been issued for a serious violation involving a lack of eye, face, and hand protection as well as safety training for employees operating cardboard balers.
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 OSHA’s Globally Harmonized Hazard Communication Standard (GHS) offered on the following dates:
- 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:
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:
Dayton RCRA and DOT Training
Register for Hazardous Waste Management: The Complete Course (RCRA) and DOT Hazardous Materials Training: The Complete Course, in Dayton, Ohio, from July 10–12 and save $100. To take advantage of this offer, click here or call 1-800-537-2372.
Raleigh RCRA and DOT Training
Register for Hazardous Waste Management: The Complete Course (RCRA) and DOT Hazardous Materials Training: The Complete Course, in Raleigh, North Carolina, from July 16–18 and save $100. To take advantage of this offer, click here or call 1-800-537-2372.
Macon RCRA and DOT Training
Register for Hazardous Waste Management: The Complete Course (RCRA) and DOT Hazardous Materials Training: The Complete Course, in Macon, Georgia, from July 24–26 and save $100. To take advantage of this offer, click here or call 1-800-537-2372.
Pinnacle Foods Group Cited for Ammonia Exposure
OSHA has cited Mountain Lakes, New Jersey-based Pinnacle Foods Group LLC, for 27 serious safety and health violations at the company’s Fayetteville, Arkansas, facility, including exposing employees to inhaling ammonia, among other workplace hazards. Proposed penalties total $156,700.
OSHA’s Little Rock Area Office initiated an inspection on December 12, 2011, under the agency’s National Emphasis Program for Chemicals. Investigators found that Pinnacle Foods Group failed to follow OSHA’s process safety management regulations at the company’s facility, where about 500 employees process fresh and frozen seafood.
The violations involve failing to adhere to process safety management standards, ensure that lockout/tagout procedures are followed, provide appropriate personal protective equipment to prevent skin contact with and inhalation of ammonia, ensure that emergency exits are unlocked, repair or maintain defective electrical equipment, and adhere to OSHA’s Emergency Response Standard.
Pinnacle Foods Group employs about 4,300 workers nationwide.
$193,400 in Fines for Stability, Steel Erection, Cave-In, Fall Hazards at Kimball Union Academy
OSHA has proposed a total of $193,400 in fines for three Pennsylvania-based contractors for alleged violations of workplace safety standards at a work site located at the Kimball Union Academy in Meriden, New Hampshire.
The largest penalties are proposed against JDE Inc., of Souderton, Pennsylvania, general contractor for the construction of a field house on the campus grounds. An inspection by OSHA’s Concord Area Office resulted in OSHA issuing four willful citations with $140,000 in proposed fines to JDE. The citations address the employer’s failure to ensure that the concrete foundation was structurally sound and the structural steel was constantly stable during the erection process. This exposed employees to crushing hazards if the foundation weakened and/or the structural steel collapsed. Additionally, JDE failed to protect its employees against fall and cave-in hazards. 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.
Five serious citations with $19,800 in fines were issued to JDE for its failure to test the concrete footings prior to steel erection, ensure plans for the concrete forms were available on-site, prevent workers from climbing the rails of an aerial lift, provide a properly drained work site for equipment, and train workers to recognize steel erection and other hazards. 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.
Steel erection contractor Superior Fabric Structures of New Providence, Pennsylvania, was issued three serious citations, with $21,000 in fines, for failing to ensure the structural steel was constantly stable during the erection process, obtain written notification that the concrete had achieved sufficient strength to support steel erection loads and train workers in steel erection hazards and the operation of powered industrial trucks. Masonry contractor Pat Campion, doing business as Campion Construction Co., of Glenside, Pennsylvania, faces $12,600 in fines for three serious citations for lack of cave-in protection for employees in an excavation, not training workers to identify cave-in hazards, and not having a competent person inspect the excavation to identify and correct hazards.
The full citations can be viewed at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/JDEInc._110093_0427_12.pdf
OSHA Fines Stucco Contractor $108,240 for Fall Hazards
OSHA has cited DD Stucco and Renovation LLC, for six safety—including two willful—violations related to fall hazards at a Mountain Lakes, New Jersey, work site. OSHA opened an inspection in November 2011 as part of its local emphasis program on falls and proposed a total of $108,240 in penalties.
The willful violations carry a $92,400 penalty and are due to a lack of fall protection for employees working on a scaffold that was not fully planked. 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.
Four serious violations, which carry a $15,840 penalty, are for a scaffold that was not secured to the structure or supported on an adequate firm foundation, unstable objects used to support the scaffold and employees climbing across braces to access the scaffold.
In April, Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis announced a new campaign to provide employers and workers with life-saving information and educational materials about working safely from ladders, scaffolds, and roofs in an effort to prevent deadly falls in the construction industry. In 2010, more than 10,000 construction workers were injured as a result of falling while working from heights, and more than 250 workers were killed. OSHA’s fall prevention campaign was developed in partnership with the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and NIOSH’s National Occupational Research Agenda program.
DD Stucco and Renovation is headquartered in Clifton and had three workers at the Mountain Lakes site.
OSHA Cites Contractor Following Arc Blast that Injured Worker
OSHA has cited Interstate Electrical Services, a North Billerica, Massachusetts, electrical contractor, for alleged willful and serious violations following a November 2011 arc flash blast at an Andover, Masachusetts jobsite. Two workers installing electrical service were seriously burned when a piece of equipment made contact with an energized part of an electrical panel, resulting in the arc flash.
OSHA’s Andover Area Office determined that the energized electrical panel was not effectively guarded to prevent workers from coming in contact. As a result of this condition, OSHA issued a willful citation, with a $70,000 fine.
OSHA also issued the contractor two serious citations, with $11,000 in fines, for additional electrical hazards posed by a damaged power cord and an energized electrical wire that was not protected against damage.
OSHA Cites AZZ Galvanizing Services for 22 Violations; Proposes $78,500 in Fines
AZZ Inc., doing business as AZZ Galvanizing Services in Richland, Mississippi, has been cited by OSHA for 22 safety and health violations following an inspection that began in December 2011 after OSHA received a complaint alleging hazards.
Seventeen serious safety and health violations include failing to conduct inspections of lockout/tagout procedures; protect workers from trip and fall hazards; ensure the use of seatbelts while operating a powered industrial truck; provide adequate signage for permit-required confined spaces; mark the maximum load capacity for cranes; protect employees from live electrical parts and hot surfaces; and provide a hearing conservation program. Additional violations involve damaged and unmarked hook lifting devices, a defective powered industrial truck, an emergency eye wash station with pressure exceeding the maximum allowable pounds per square inch, flexible cords used as permanent wiring, and unapproved electrical cords in wet locations. Proposed penalties for these citations total $78,500.
Citations carrying no monetary penalties have been issued for five other-than-serious safety and health violations, including failing to provide appropriate warning labels on hazardous chemicals, use electrical equipment properly, and provide adequate exit signage, as well as allowing electrical cords to run through a hole in a ceiling, windows, and doorways. 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.
AZZ Inc., headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, offers corrosion protective services.
OSHA Cites Brown-Campbell Co. for Lack of Protective Clothing, Machine Guards
OSHA has cited Brown-Campbell Co., for 19 alleged safety and health violations, including four repeat infractions, following a December 5, 2011, inspection at an Ohio plant that was initiated based on a complaint. Inspectors found workers were not provided protective clothing and that several machines lacked guarding at the specialty steel products company. Proposed fines total $64,400.
Three repeat safety violations involve failing to provide welding screens, protective clothing for employees exposed to metal sparks, and establish a lockout/tagout program to control the use of hazardous energy. A repeat health violation was issued for failing to provide employees hazard communication program training. 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 Chicago facility.
Additionally, eight serious safety violations include failing to protect workers from falls around open-sided floors; have properly trapped overflow piping for dip tanks; have electrically bonded portable containers when transferring liquid to the dip tanks; train employees on the use of portable fire extinguishers; and have a properly rated electrical disconnect box. Additionally, violations for failing to adequately guard a shear, metal grating saw, and bench grinder were issued.
Three serious health violations were issued for failing to institute a hearing conservation program and to label dip tanks with the name of hazardous chemicals and with the appropriate hazard warnings.
Brown-Campbell was also cited for three other-than-serious safety violations for failing to identify the load limit of an overhead storage area, adequately separate oxygen cylinders from combustible materials and close an unused opening in an electrical box. One other-than-serious health violation was cited for failing to provide respiratory protection training to workers using dust masks.
Brown-Campbell is based in Detroit and has additional warehouses in Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas, Memphis, Minneapolis, and South Carolina. Sales offices are in California, Chicago, North Carolina, and Philadelphia.
OSHA Cites Roofing Contractor Woodridge Enterprises for Lack of Fall Protection
OSHA has cited roofing contractor Woodridge Enterprises Inc., in Lemont, Illinois, with four safety violations for failing to protect workers from falls at two separate job sites. OSHA’s inspections were initiated under the agency’s fall protection program. Proposed fines total $54,120.
An inspection opened February 29 at a residential site found two repeat violations involving a failure to provide fall protection on a scaffold higher than 25 feet and provide fall protection for workers engaged in construction activities. Similar violations were cited in February 2010 and March 2009.
One serious violation was cited for failing to have a ladder that extends at least 3 feet above the landing surface.
A second inspection was opened March 7 at a commercial roofing job site where another serious violation was cited for not providing sufficient fall protection to workers on a low-slope roof. Prior to the two inspections earlier this year, the company had been inspected five times since 2003, resulting in citations for lack of fall protection and other hazards.
OSHA Cites Heraeus Materials Technology for Overexposing Workers to Lead, Metal
OSHA has cited Heraeus Materials Technology LLC, for exposing workers to dangerously high levels of lead and silver metal, among other violations, at the company’s West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, facility. OSHA initiated an inspection in December 2011 after being alerted by the Pennsylvania Department of Health of a possible exposure. Proposed penalties total $45,265.
OSHA has cited one repeat violation involving employee exposure to lead above the permissible exposure limit. The citation carries a $27,500 penalty. The company was cited for this same violation in April 2010.
Four serious violations involve overexposure to silver metal, inadequate engineering controls to reduce exposure, the lack of an updated written lead compliance program, and failing to provide head coverings to workers. The citations carry $17,765 in penalties.
Based in Hanau, Germany, Heraeus Materials Technology produces conductive pastes at the West Conshohocken facility containing precious and other metals that are used to make circuit boards.
OSHA Orders Reinstatement of Whistleblower Who Voiced Water Quality Concerns
OSHA has ordered Anchorage-based North Star Behavioral Health System to reinstate an employee who was fired after reporting safety concerns about compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) at the company’s residential youth facility outside of Anchorage, Alaska.
An investigation by OSHA’s Whistleblower Protection Program found that the termination violated the whistleblower provision of the SDWA. The employee had reported concerns about safe drinking water and a lack of appropriate licensing for a North Star manager, who for several months held certain regulatory responsibilities regarding the facility’s drinking water system. In retaliation for reporting the safety concerns to state agencies, the employer disciplined the complainant, ordered him to refrain from future contact with regulatory agencies, and then fired him for allegedly sabotaging the facility’s water supply. OSHA’s investigation determined that the evidence did not support the employer’s reasons for disciplining the employee or the allegations of sabotage. Files reviewed during the investigation showed a history of outstanding performance by the complainant prior to his engaging in protected activity.
OSHA’s order requires that North Star immediately reinstate the whistleblower to his former position and pay him nearly $60,000 in back wages. The order also requires North Star to pay $75,000 in emotional distress damages, $100,000 in punitive damages, $2,018 in compensatory damages, and approximately $35,600 in attorney fees. North Star also must post OSHA’s whistleblower protection fact sheet at the facility.
OSHA enforces the whistleblower provisions of the SDWA 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.
Under the various whistleblower provisions enacted by Congress, 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 Whistleblower Protection Program.
Safety News Links
2012 Emergency Response Guidebook – Prepublication Discounts
2012 Emergency Response Guidebook – Download
OSHA Developing Risk-Based Injury-, Illness-Prevention Program
My Workplace is Filthy. Should I Call OSHA?
Safety Incentives Could Lead to Fewer Reported Injuries, Illnesses
Frack Sand: An Easily Overlooked Occupational Hazard
OSHA Rules on Workplace Toxics Stalled
Worker Killed, Two Injured in Phosphates Explosion
Worker Killed, Another Injured in Oil Plant Explosion
Worker Killed by Packaging Press
Worker Killed at Foundry
Worker Killed in Accident at Recycling Business
Safety is Free