OSHA isn’t publicizing its enforcement efforts as much as it did under the Obama administration, but that doesn’t mean employers aren’t being cited and fined. Here’s a roundup of some recent enforcement cases that led to significant penalties:
Alabama—A motor vehicle parts manufacturer was cited with three repeat violations and three serious violations. The repeat violations were issued for lockout/tagout deficiencies and failing to provide injury and illness records to authorized government representatives within 4 business hours. Serious violations were issued for fall protection, machine guarding, and lockout/tagout.
Total penalty: $84,255
Arkansas—A food and spice manufacturer was cited with two willful violations, four serious violations, and one other-than-serious violation following a fatal incident in which an employee performing a salt flush on a mixer was killed when the mixer started up while he was trapped inside. The willful violations were issued under the lockout/tagout standard. The remaining violations were cited for machine guarding deficiencies, electrical hazards, and portable ladder issues.
Total penalty: $185,055
California—A manufacturer was cited with one willful violation, five serious violations, and three other-than-serious violations following an accident. The willful violation was cited for failing to properly guard the point of operation on power presses. The remaining violations addressed training and inspection requirements for power presses and lockout/tagout requirements.
Total penalty: $142,715
Connecticut—OSHA issued six serious citations to a nursing home for violations of the bloodborne pathogens standard, as well as two other-than-serious violations for recordkeeping deficiencies.
Total penalty: $65,190
Florida—A water and sewer construction contractor was cited with 12 serious violations following a fatal incident in which an employee inspecting an underwater pipe in a trench drowned. Most of the citations were issued for violations of requirements for commercial diving operations. OSHA also issued a citation under the General Duty Clause for exposing workers to fall hazards when they were working from the bucket of an excavator over water that was approximately 13 ft in height. Additional citations addressed protective systems for trenching and excavation and provision of life jackets for employees working over or near water.
Total penalty: $60,840
Georgia—A poultry processing company was cited with 10 serious violations. Cited standards included forklifts, electrical safety, process safety management, walking-working surface requirements, and exit route design.
Total penalty: $83,110
Idaho—An automotive repair facility was cited with six serious violations following an inspection triggered by a complaint. One of the violations was issued under the General Duty Clause for exposing workers to fall, crush, and struck-by hazards from the use of damaged vehicle lifts. Additional citations dealt with lockout/tagout, hazard communication, eye and face protection, hand and portable power tools, and flammable liquids.
Total penalty: $48,168
Illinois—A manufacture of pumps and pumping equipment was cited with five serious violations of lockout/tagout, machine guarding, and electrical safety standards.
Total penalty: $52,512
Illinois—A roofing contractor was cited with three repeat violations and one serious violation. The repeat violations were issued for failing to provide fall protection in residential construction, failing to ensure that portable ladders extended at least 3 ft above upper landing surfaces, and failing to provide eye and face protection.
Total Penalty: $104,572
Kansas—A cleaning products manufacturer was cited with five serious violations under the process safety management standard.
Total penalty: $68,448 fine
Massachusetts—A metal finishing company was cited with two willful violations, one repeat violation, eight serious violations, and one other-than-serious violation. The willful violations were issued for hazardous noise levels and exposing employees to air contaminants in levels that exceeded permissible exposure limits. Repeat violations were cited under the respiratory protection standard. The remaining violations dealt with lockout/tagout, forklifts, machine guarding, and electrical safety.
Total penalty: $262,121
Missouri—An automotive repair and maintenance facility was cited with 11 serious violations after a worker suffocated inside a truck tank. The employer was cited for failing to provide respiratory protection, violations of the standard for permit-required confined spaces, and electrical hazards.
Total penalty: $84,927
New Jersey—A municipal fire department was cited for 19 serious violations and 13 other-than-serious violations. Citations were issued for electrical hazards, walking-working surface conditions, scaffolding hazards, material handling and storage practices, guarding of portable power tools, exit route access, lack of written emergency action and fire prevention plans, recordkeeping deficiencies, failure to perform a PPE hazard assessment, lockout/tagout, and portable fire extinguisher training.
Total penalty: $76,300
New Jersey—A substance abuse treatment facility was cited with 11 serious violations. Most were issued under the bloodborne pathogens standard; the rest dealt with hazard communication, exit route requirements, electrical safety, and asbestos.
Total penalty: $97,783
Ohio—A metal stamping company was cited with a willful violation and 6 serious violations for failing to comply with requirements for metal power presses and machine guarding.
Total penalty: $166,225
Pennsylvania—A modular home builder was cited with one serious and one repeat violation. The repeat violation was issued for failing to provide fall protection to employees on walking-working surfaces with unprotected sides or edges 4 feet or more above a lower level. The serious violation was issued for failing to ensure that employees on runways 4 feet or more above a lower level were protected with a guardrail system.
Total penalty: $43,458
Pennsylvania—A discount retail store was cited with one repeat violation and one other-than-serious violation. The repeat violation was issued for using working space around electrical equipment for storage.
Total penalty: $59,752
South Dakota—A commercial construction contractor was cited with 2 willful violations and 21 serious violations following a fatal accident. While an employee was removing two load-bearing walls of a building, the entire building structure collapsed on top of him and killed him. The willful violations were issued for failing to provide required training and failing to complete an engineering survey prior to demolition activities.
Texas—An electrical contractor was cited with five serious violations following an arc flash incident that killed one worker and hospitalized another. One of the citations was issued under the General Duty Clause for exposing employees pulling wire near an energized Busway to arc flash and electrical shock hazards. Additional citations were issued for PPE deficiencies and electrical hazards.
Total penalty: $63,375
Texas—A meatpacking company was cited with 15 serious violations. Many were issued under the process safety management standard; the remainder dealt with respiratory protection, PPE, first aid, and fall protection.
Total penalty: $128,562
Virginia—A frozen food manufacturer was cited with two repeat violations under the lockout/tagout standard and a serious violation of a state-specific standard regarding safe use of machinery and equipment in accordance with manufacturer specifications.
Total penalty: $64,000