Violations and Fines

Worldwide Outfield Machine BOP Cited By OSHA

oilfieldWorldwide Oilfield Machine BOP has been cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) with eight serious safety violations. In addition, the company was cited with four repeat violations and one other-than-serious violation. The violations stem from exposing workers to unguarded machinery and electrical hazards at the company’s Cunningham Road facility in Houston, Texas.

According to Worldwide Oilfield Machine BOP‘s (WOM) official website, the company has locations in Texas, India, and the United Kingdom. Founded in 1980, WOM serves the oil and gas industry manufacturing blowout preventers. Worldwide employs more than 850 people.

The eight serious violations cited by OSHA include failing to provide the required machine guarding on equipment such as band saws, mills and vertical/horizontal turret lathes. In addition, WOM was cited for neglecting to make certain machinery was securely anchored. OSHA found that WOM also failed to ensure electrical cords, panels, and boxes were not exposed in an effort to prevent shock and electrocution.

Repeat violations involved neglecting to adequately maintain abrasive wheel machines, failing to make certain electrical cords are provided with a device that offers strain relief, and ensuring electrical cords are continuous in length without repairs. Repeat violations occur when an employer 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 . Worldwide Oilfield Machine BOP had similar violations in 2008.

Worldwide Outfield Machine BOP also had an other-than-serious violation involving failing to keep electrical equipment free and clear of obstacles. David Doucet, area director of OSHA’s Houston North office emphasized the importance of using proper protection when operating band saws and vertical and horizontal lathes because of the risk of serious injuries and amputations. Worldwide Outfield Machine BOP has 15 business days to dispute OSHA’s findings. Proposed penalties total $71, 200.

Pandrol USA Cited by OSHA

Pandrol USA has been cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) with 25 safety and health violations including 3 willful violations. OSHA’s inspection was initiated because of complaints regarding alleged hazards. Pandrol USA’s penalties total $238,500. The company has fifteen business days to dispute OSHA’s findings.

According to the company’s official website, Pandrol USA is a designer, manufacturer, and supplier of resilient rail fastening systems. Located in Bridgeport, New Jersey, Pandrol is connected to a 12 country network of operating companies and manufacturing facilities supplying 82 markets. The company’s twenty serious violations involve the following.

  • Noise exposure.
  • Electrical Hazards.
  • Lack of machine guarding and personal protective equipment.
  • Neglecting to inspect energy control procedures.
  • Failure to develop and implement a confined space program.
  • Fire extinguishers not mounted.

Pandrol USA has been placed in the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Severe Violator Enforcement Program because of two willful violations. A violation is considered willful when there is disregard for the laws requirements and indifference to worker safety and health. Willful violations are committed with intentional knowledge that a standard is being ignored. Pandrol’s willful violations include the following.

  • Failure to use energy control or lockout/tagout procedures for mechanical hydraulic presses.
  • Failure to provide machine guarding.
  • Failure to ensure employees performing maintenance and repairs on machinery are properly trained on energy control procedures.

OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program requires follow-up inspections in an effort to ensure the cited company is following laws and standards. Paula Dixon-Roderick, director of OSHA’s Marlton office stated employers are solely responsible for maintaining safe and healthy work environments and will be held accountable for failing to do so.

Harrison Hoist Cited by OSHA Following Deaths at UTD

The Occupational and Safety Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Harrison Hoist for a tragic incident that killed two workers in July, 2012.  The construction employees were working on a project at the University of Texas at Dallas’ Richardson campus. OSHA cited Harrison Hoist with six serious safety violations as a result of the incident. Proposed fines total $29, 400, and the company has 15 business days to dispute OSHA findings.

Thomas Fairbrother, 58 from Austin, Texas and Terry Weaver, 50 of Grand Saline, Texas were ironworkers. According to news reports, the men worked on several projects together over the years. Family members stated Fairbrother loved working at extreme heights, and Weaver worked hard to support his cherished family. Students at UTD organized a Moment of Reflection in honor of the two men.

The violations involved Harrison Hoist’s failure to address the following issues.

• Risks associated with the effects of wind speed and weather on the equipment.

• Failure to ensure that procedures for disassembling the tower crane prevented the collapse of any part of the equipment.

• Failure to adequately support and stabilize all parts of the equipment.

• Failure to ensure that disassembly procedures positioned workers to minimize their exposure to unintended movement or collapse.

• Failure to ensure that disassembly procedures were developed by a qualified person.

• Failure to train each competent person and each qualified person regarding the requirements of 29 code of Federal Regulations 1926 Subpart CC “Cranes and Derrick in Construct

History Construction Cited for Exposing Workers to Lead

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited History Construction Management in Odell, Illinois for 22 serious violations. The complaints involve exposing workers to airborne lead. Proposed fines total $59,200 and the company has fifteen business days to dispute the citations and penalties.

According to the company’s official website, History Construction specializes in the restoration of wood windows and architectural elements in adherence to the strictest interpretations of national historic preservation policies. The company stands by its dedication to the preservation of the built environment and conservation of the earth’s resources through retention and adaptive reuse of historic architectural elements and the utilization of environmentally friendly materials and methods.

Fifteen of the citations involve failure to comply with OSHA’s lead standard. These violations include the following.

• Failure to initiate engineering and work practice controls to minimize exposure.

• Lack of clean protective clothing.

• Clean changing rooms or separate storage facilities to prevent contamination of clothing were not provided.

• Eating areas were not free from lead dust accumulation.

• Employees did not receive training on lead and post lead hazards and warning signs.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited History Construction for  five violations related to the respiratory protection standard. These violations involved failing to implement a respirator protection program that includes proper respirator selection, medical evaluation, fit testing, and training. Other serious violations were related to flexible electrical cords as a substitute for fixed wiring and improperly altering electrical cords. Serious violations occur when there is a risk of death or severe physical harm.

Tom Bielema, director of OSHA’s Peoria Area Office, emphasized History Construction is obligated to reduce hazards and exposures. Workers must be trained to recognize lead hazards and become familiar with preventive measures necessary to protect their health.

 

OSHA Cites Lee Jones & Son for Safety Violations

Lee Jones & Son Construction of Fargo, South Dakota has been cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The company faces proposed penalties totaling $21,000 after a 28 foot steel beam fell on an electrician at their job site. According to Eric Brooks, acting area director of the Bismarck, South Dakota OSHA office, Lee Jones & Son committed three serious violations. The company has fifteen business days to dispute the citations.

The Fargo Better Business Bureau‘s website reports Lee Jones & Son Construction Company was incorporated in 1987. The company is a general contractor firm owned by Tim Jones and employs approximately twenty-five people.

The accident victim, Trevor Skarphol was an electrician with Scott’s Electric. Scott’s Electric is located in Wahpeton, North Dakota and served as a subcontractor on the project. Skarphol was thirty years old, and he left a wife and two boys.

The three serious violations were related to the erection of steel columns and the use of anchor rods. OSHA alleges Lee Jones & Son violated the general duty clause which requires employers to provide employees with a workplace free from recognized hazards that cause death or physical harm. Two other citations are associated with OSHA rules for erecting steel. One violation involved OSHA guidelines requiring columns being evaluated by a competent person to determine whether guying or bracing is needed. The final citation dealt with anchor rods not being replaced, repaired, or modified without the approval of the project structural engineer of record.

The project site was the Sheyenne 9th Grade Center in West Fargo. The accident occurred in the afternoon on a school day. Trevor Skarphol was pronounced dead at the scene.

Symmetry Turf Installation Cited by OSHA

Scorching June temperatures caused a forklift operator employed by Symmetry Turf Installations to die of complications from heat stroke. The worker was resurfacing the football practice field at the University of Arkansas Fayetteville. John Hermanson, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) regional administrator in Dallas expressed concern over Symmetry Turf’s negligence in regards to educating employees on the dangers of extreme heat. Hermanson stressed water, rest, and shade could have prevented this tragedy. In addition, Hermanson remarked Symmetry Turf has an obligation to inform employees on the symptoms of heat stroke.

According to their website, Symmetry Turf Installations provides sports field construction services for parks, recreation facilities, and sports fields specializing in artificial turf throughout North America. The company offers various turf related services such as field maintenance, assistance in field design including design and construction drawings. Symmetry Turf has completed projects at the following facilities: Baltimore Ravens Indoor Practice Field, University of North Texas Mean Green Machine Football Stadium, New York Jets football field, and Minnesota Vikings football field.

One serious violation involved failure to familiarize workers on the signs and symptoms of heat illness. The second violation involved neglecting to inform workers on the proper precautions to follow regarding heat related illness. Proposed fines associated with the incident total $5,040. Symmetry Turf has 15 days to dispute the findings of the investigation.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) offers various resources focusing on heat illness. Employers should take the following precautions in an effort to prevent heat related incidents from occurring at their sites.

• Provide training about the hazards leading to heat stress and how to prevent them.

• Provide a lot of cool water to workers close to the area. At least one pint of water per hour is needed.

• Schedule frequent periods with water breaks in shaded areas or air conditioned areas.

• Routinely check workers who are at risk of heat stress due to protective clothing and high temperature

• Consider protective clothing that provides cooling.

Additional information regarding heat illness as well as training resources can be accessed at www.osha.gov Materials are available in Spanish and English. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has a variety of resources available to educate both employers and employees on the risks connected to heat illness so that tragedies like the Fayetteville incident will not occur.

 

LH Musser and Sons Inc. Fined for Heat Related Fatality

The summer months can be challenging for most construction workers. With daily temperatures reaching 100 degrees or more, the work environment becomes a serious risk for those working in the construction industry. In June, LH Musser and Sons Inc. of Clarksburg, Maryland was cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for a serious violation related to OSHA’s general duty clause.

The LH Musser and Sons Inc. employee was assigned to a crew responsible for paving the parking lot of a church located in the District of Columbia. The worker became ill from the heat and died after he was taken to the hospital. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) data, eighty-one construction workers died from heat related illnesses between 2003-2009. Consequently over that same period, 4110 heat related injuries/illnesses requiring sick days from work have been reported by the construction industry.

Robert Szymanski, acting director of OSHA’s Baltimore/Washington Area office stated the LH Musser tragedy should serve as a reminder to employers that workers need constant access to water, rest, and shade to prevent heat illness and injuries during the scorching summer months. Szymanski also noted workers should be educated and trained on how to become familiar with the signs of heat related illness.

LH Musser faces a proposed fine of $6,900. The violation alleges LH Musser failed to offer a program addressing heat related hazards in the workplace. The LH Musser work site was outdoors and employees performed duties using hot asphalt in direct sunlight. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) contends LH Musser and Sons Inc. did not provide a work/rest regime or ensure employees consumed appropriate amounts of water. In addition, LH Musser did not enforce a training program or procedure for employees related to recognizing the signs and symptoms of heat related illness or prevention techniques.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has developed heat illness educational materials. In addition, OSHA offers a curriculum specifically for workplace training. OSHA’s website www.osha.gov also provides extensive information on heat illness/injury prevention. Users can access an abundance of information including posters that illustrate heat illness, OSHA heat prevention lesson plans, and a variety of fact sheets related to heat illness.

Fontarome Chemical Cited by Occupational Safety and Health Administration

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Fontarome Chemical for 17 major safety violations after a fire at the company’s pharmaceutical manufacturing facility in St. Francis, Wisconsin on April 13, 2012. Fontarome Chemical serves as a custom manufacturer of ingredients for the pharmaceutical, flavor, and fragrance industries. Fontarome assists companies throughout all phases of the drug development process from pre-clinical through commercialization according to their website. In February 2011, Fontarome was recognized for the greatest growth rate in sales and profit during the company’s entire history.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has proposed fines totaling $51,800 as result of the April 13th fire incident. Fontarome Chemical has up to fifteen business days after notification of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s local office, or dispute the allegations before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Commission.

The fire occurred during the troubleshooting of an electrical component on the hot oil heater. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration initiated an inspection under its national emphasis program on process safety management for covered chemical facilities. George Yoksas, OSHA’s local director in Milwaukee emphasized employers such as Fontarome should provide safe working conditions for employees who routinely interact with highly hazardous chemicals. Fontarome did not implement safety procedures. In addition, employers were not trained and existing procedures were not reviewed for effectiveness. It is crucial companies like Fontarome follow appropriate procedures.

Fontarome Chemical received twelve violations related to safety management. These violations included failing to address hazards related to potential engineering and administrative control failures. Fontarome Chemical was also cited as being negligent due to failure to implement written operating procedures, and workers were not properly trained on procedures. . In addition, OSHA alleged Fontarome did not review operating procedures annually, procedures for the halting of equipment were not developed, compliance audits were not conducted every three years, and company officials did not respond to flaws found in compliance reviews.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Fontarome Chemical in the past for safety violations. Their facility in St. Francis, Wisconsin has been inspected three times. The facility has also been cited with 22 safety violations in the past.

OSHA Targets Home Depot for Repeated Safety Violations

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration penalized Home Depot for exposing workers to electrical hazards at its North Avenue Chicago store. OSHA fined the store $69,300. The investigation was started following reports of blocked electrical panels at that location. Home Depot was cited in 2009, 2010, and 2012 for similar matters and as a result OSHA fined the chain severely.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is taking aggressive actions to address the safety violations, because serious repercussions such as exposure to shocks, eye injuries or electrocution could occur if these issues are ignored. OSHA officials in Chicago granted Home Depot fifteen days to comply with OSHA regulations or request a hearing on the complaint. Home Depot stores in Keene, New Hampshire, Vineland, New Jersey, and Saratoga Springs, New York have also been cited for similar violations within the last several years.

The North Avenue Chicago Home Depot store was cited for two repeat violations and one serious safety violation. The serious violation was issued for failing to ensure all electrical equipment was marked with the appropriate voltage level. Serious violations occur when there is a risk of death or serious physical harm. OSHA standards require companies to identify electrical equipment, specify usage intent, and voltage levels.

The repeat violations involved materials not being stored in space around the electrical equipment. Also, electrical circuits were not properly identified. Employers receive repeat violations when they have been cited for the same violation of a standard or regulation at another facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. Home Depot has been cited in multiple states within the last three years.

Diane Turek, Director of OSHA’s Chicago North Area Office in Des Plaines explained Home Depot has a responsibility to safeguard employees by eliminating safety concerns. Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthy work places for their employees. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration ensures these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing appropriate standards. In addition, OSHA mandates companies provide applicable training, education, and assistance to employees.