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OSHA Citations: March 2016

By Matt Wastradowski

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A round-up of serious OSHA violations in March 2016:

Construction contractor fined for exposing workers to life-threatening falls

A residential construction contractor in southern New Jersey was recently fined $198,550 for exposing employees to dangerous falls and ignoring federal safety standards.

Berlin Builders was fined for 19 repeat and eight serious violations. The violations include failures to:

  • Provide fall protection
  • Train employees on fall protection
  • Inspect jobsites for hazards
  • Train employees on proper ladder use

Falls are the leading cause of death in the construction industry. Learn more about keeping employees safe with proper fall protection.

Wisconsin contractor fined for failing to protect workers from fall hazards

Diaz Roofing LLC, a Wisconsin-based roofing contractor, was fined $104,390 for five safety violations.

OSHA issued two willful and two serious citations, as well as one other-than-serious citation. The inspection also found that employees were using nail guns without eye protection and that the company failed to maintain injury and illness logs.

The company is no stranger to fall hazards: Since 2005, OSHA has found on 13 occasions that Diaz Roofing failed to protect workers from fall hazards.

Construction company fined after on-the-job fatality

Lunda Construction Company was fined $105,000 after an employee lost his life while mixing concrete for a bridge resurfacing project in Minnesota. The man died after a rough-terrain forklift struck and killed him.

OSHA investigators found that the company allowed an employee to operate a forklift even though he lacked proper training and had a physical restriction that limited uses of his right hand. The investigation also found several violations of powered industrial vehicle standards, as well.

Walmart found to be in violation of corporate-wide safety agreement

Global retailer Walmart was recently fined $118,800 for three repeated and two serious violations at a Florida store.

Despite a 2013 settlement with OSHA to improve safety and health conditions, Walmart was cited for failing to provide Hepatitis B vaccinations to employees who were supposed to clean up blood spills; training workers tasked with cleaning up blood spills; protecting employees from exposure to shock and burn hazards; and more.

Wisconsin grain facility fined for exposing workers to engulfment dangers

Duffy Grain was fined $122,500 in March for exposing workers to engulfment hazards posed by quickly-flowing grain. The company was cited for two willful and six serious safety violations.

Inspectors found moving grain hazards inside bins, respiratory hazards, a lack of machine guarding on augers and horizontal belts, and numerous other violations.

Texas companies fined $185,150 for numerous hazards

OSHA inspectors have fined five Texas companies for numerous hazards at a building renovation project in San Antonio, Texas. In all, citations totaled $185,150.

The inspection found that the companies failed to notify employees about asbestos on the jobsite, failure to protect employees from electrical hazards, and more.

“Exposure to asbestos can have devastating outcomes, including lung disease and cancer,” said Alejandro Porter, OSHA’s area director in the San Antonio Office. “It’s imperative that employers take action to keep workers from harm by informing and protecting them when asbestos hazards exist in the workplace.”

Wisconsin company fined for exposing workers to amputation, fire dangers

Wood Fibers, a Wisconsin-based wood pellet manufacturer, was recently fined for exposing its workers to conditions that could cause amputation, burns, and other life-threatening injuries. Citations totaled $152,460.

Inspectors found that the company didn’t provide adequate safeguards to protect workers from moving machine parts. Wood Fibers was also cited for combustible dust hazards and electrical safety violations.

The inspection led OSHA to place the company in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program; OSHA found similar violations in 2011, 2012, and 2014.

Pennsylvania contractor fined after on-the-job fatality

A Rooter Man, a plumbing company based in Beaver, Penn., was fined $174,000 after an employee was killed in an excavation collapse.

The 21-year-old employee, who’d been on the job just a few weeks, died when the excavation in which he worked collapsed and buried him under thousands of pounds of earth.

An OSHA investigation resulted in two willful and seven serious violations for the company. Investigators found that the company exposed employees to cave-in hazards and that it failed to protect employees from loose rock or soil.

Worker injury leads to $117,000 fine for Houston nursery

Investigators recently fined Houston Garden Center $117,000 for 13 serious violations, two repeat violations, and one other-than-serious violation. The investigation was initiated after OSHA received a complaint about an unreported hospitalization resulting from an employee fall.

Among the violations: OSHA’s investigation found that Houston Garden Center failed to protect employees from fall hazards, provide personal protective equipment, protect employees from electrical hazards, and offer adequate sanitation, such as soap and toilet paper.

Want to avoid OSHA fines in your facility?

These violations are expensive, but worker injuries and fatalities on the job can cost even more. Graphic Products offers on-site expert advice through our Compliance Assessment Services to help companies like yours improve their safety and meet OSHA’s requirements.