An Oklahoma plating manufacturer is facing over three dozen safety violations carrying $341,000 in fines for exposing workers to deadly levels of hexavalent chromium, a cancer-causing health hazard.
Reasons for fine: failure to
◾provide PPE for workers exposed to chromium
◾demarcate regulated area where chromium was sprayed
◾prevent ingestion of food and drinks and absorption of cigarettes in chromium-regulated areas
◾properly train workers exposed to the facility’s chromium, caustics and corrosives
◾provide adequate walking and working surfaces
◾provide separate locker space and storage for street and protective clothing
◾perform PPE hazard assessments
◾guard power transmission belts
◾failing to fit test employees for respirators and implement a respiratory program
◾inform workers of their chromium exposure records
◾provide adequate washing facilities
◾label chemical containers
Inspectors said workers were exposed to the chemical in the spray painting and dip tank operation areas and in the lunchroom and smoking areas of the Grove plant.
This case shows you might — even OSHA inspectors can get things wrong. In the unlikely event an OSHA inspector shows up at your door, make sure you gather the same evidence as the inspector – photos, records, etc. If you disagree with the inspector’s conclusions, be prepared to raise concerns during the closing conference or fight the citations in court.
Here’s a challenging court case you could encounter at your facility: This company was hit with citations for improper fall protection, despite an OSHA inspector giving the safety plan the OK. The company is sure it’s in the right. Can you guess the outcome?
The OSHA inspector told the manager the fall protection was good enough while on the site, but when he got back to his office and talked with others, he determined there was a safety violation. However, when in court, the inspector was vague and did not seem to remember specific details about the site or the conversations he had with the manager that day.
In contrast, the manager came to court prepared and confident. He had years of experience with this type of work and demonstrated that he knew the rules for fall protection well. He also knew the exact circumstances of the job site and could defend his choices clearly. The court determined the fall protection used was within the rules and dropped the charges.
Experience speaks the company was successful and the court threw out the citations. Know your OSHA’s rules!! your inspector may not.
A Chicago engineering company, classified as a severe safety violator by federal regulators, was cited and fined for failing to protect workers from trench cave-ins. The company was placed in OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program when it was issued for safety violations for failing to comply with trenching standards. Violations carry penalties of $105,600. Protect employees and your business by
- protecting workers from cave-in hazards while in a trench over 5 feet deep
- support street pavement above the trench from collapsing on workers
- remove employees from known cave-in hazards
With safety in place your business is Safe avoid hazards by keeping up with OSHA’S Safety guidelines.