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OSHA Citations: November 2015

By Jordy Byrd

This news item covers the 2015 violations infographic. The most recent list of Top 10 OSHA Violations can be found here.

Gravedigger engulfed in unguarded grave cave-in

An employee of St. Charles/Resurrection Cemeteries in Farmingdale, New York, was seriously injured when the walls of the grave opening in which he was working collapsed and buried him up to his waist. OSHA fined the company $123,200.

Ice plant employee suffers double leg amputation

An employee of Seaford Ice Inc. of Seaford, Delaware, fell into an unguarded conveyor opening while breaking ice, which resulted in the amputation of both of his legs below the knee. This was the second time a worker suffered an amputation due to lack of machine guarding at the plant. OSHA cited the company one willful, five serious, and three other-than-serious violations resulting in $77,000 in fines.

“Seaford Ice disregarded employee safety by not ensuring a proper guard on the conveyor belt, leading to a preventable amputation,” said Erin G. Patterson, OSHA’s area director in Wilmington. “This is unacceptable considering the company knew after the 2012 incident that the machine lacked safeguards to protect workers. Despite this warning, Seaford chose to expose workers to hazards, and a second employee was needlessly injured.”

Power press operator loses three fingers at metal stamping plant

Ohio Gasket & Shim Company in Akron, Ohio, was fined $103,600 after a 33-year-old worker lost three fingers when his hand was struck by the operating parts of a mechanical power press. OSHA found the power press did not have the required safety guards, which exposed the worker to operating parts of the machine when he switched from hand to foot controls.

"This worker is lucky to be alive. We also observed conditions where workers could have fallen or lost limbs. It is unacceptable that the company has repeatedly been cited for these same hazards.”

Unguarded balcony causes death of Dallas construction worker

A fall from a third-story balcony killed 44-year-old Jorge Carrion Torres as he worked on the exterior of an apartment complex in Dallas, Texas. Torres, who had been on the job for one month, was applying stucco underlayment to the balcony walls when the incident occurred. His employers, Design Plastering Inc. and Design Plastering West LLC, had not installed a scaffolding and/or provided him with personal fall protection. OSHA has issued a $407,400 citation.

Real estate renovators willfully expose workers to asbestos

OSHA cited three Austin, Texas-based employers involved in commercial real estate renovation for exposing workers to asbestos at a residential apartment construction worksite. OSHA citations for each company totaled $112,000.

Trench collapse kills worker in Louisiana

Isidro Martinez, 24, died when an unprotected trench collapsed on a construction site in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. OSHA cited Ted Hebert LLC $105,000 for one willful violation for exposing workers to trench hazards and for failing to provide an adequate protection system, and five serious violations.

"There is no excuse for exposing workers to deadly trench collapse hazards," said Dorinda Folse, OSHA's area director in Baton Rouge. "The employer knew what needed to be done, yet a broken trench box lay nearby. Workers had to enter an unsafe trench with no adequate means of keeping the trench from caving in on them."

Roofing contractor ignores safety regulations, fined $112,000

For the fourth time in three years, roofing contractor Affordable Exteriors of Bloomer, Wisconsin, was found ignoring laws - twice by federal inspectors and twice by state inspectors - by allowing employees to work without fall protection equipment. In the latest instance, OSHA inspectors observed seven Affordable Exteriors LLC employees working at heights of up to 25 feet at a Weston residential site without fall protection equipment. OSHA issued the company two willful, one repeated, and three serious safety citations totaling $112,200.

"There is no excuse for exposing workers to deadly trench collapse hazards. The employer knew what needed to be done, yet a broken trench box lay nearby. Workers had to enter an unsafe trench with no adequate means of keeping the trench from caving in on them."

Furniture company exposes workers to hazards twice in 14 months

Twice in 14 months, MooreCo Inc. in Temple, Texas, temporary workers were seriously injured when inadequately guarded machines pulled them in, removing skin from the wrist up to the shoulder in the most recent incident, and from the wrist down in an earlier incident. As a result of the earlier incident, the employee's fingertips were also amputated. The company has been placed on the Severe Violator Enforcement Program and fined $122,500.

Worker injured when 1K-pound load falls from crane

A crane's safety latch failed and 1,000 pounds of equipment fell on a man below and injured him as he worked on the factory floor of TimkenSteel Corp in Canton, Ohio. The employee fractured his left foot and broke several bones. For the second time in a year, OSHA found struck-by, fall, and amputation hazards at the company's two Canton plants following inspections. OSHA fined the company nearly $400,000 for safety hazards.

"This worker is lucky to be alive," said Howard Eberts, OSHA's area director in Cleveland. "We also observed conditions where workers could have fallen or lost limbs. It is unacceptable that the company has repeatedly been cited for these same hazards.