OSHA Enforcement Heats Up

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OSHA officials have been busy as the weather heats up and spring turned to summer. On May 20, 2016, OSHA cited BC Stucco and Stone, a construction company in Darby, Pennsylvania, for one serious violation and three willful violations. The investigation dated back to November 25, 2015 when an OSHA compliance officer observed an employee working eighteen feet above ground on a scaffold without fall protection. The proposed penalties are $93,000. BS Stucco had also been previously cited on May 2, 2016 at their Philadelphia location.

On May 31, 2016, OSHA issued citations to Evergreen Nursery in Statham, Georgia for eighteen serious safety violations. OSHA stated Evergreen exposed workers to electrical hazards, did not provide proper protective equipment, did not have a hazards communication program, and exposed workers to unguarded equipment and fall risks.  The proposed penalties thus far total $46,900.

Alstom Transportation Inc., a leading rail equipment manufacturer located in Steuben County, New York, was fined $105,000 for exposing workers to several cancer-causing chemicals and other hazards.  After receiving a complaint, OSHA inspected Alstom’s Hornell, New York facility and found workers were being exposed to cadmium, lead, nickel, and silica beyond acceptable limits as well as a number of other violations.

OSHA began an investigation of a U.S. Postal Service sorting facility in Des Moines, Iowa back in December of 2015 and found workers were exposed to slip and trip hazards, a fire door was inoperable, and emergency exit routes and doors were blocked. According to a June 2, 2016 press release, OSHA’s investigation recently resulted in two repeated violations and two serious safety violations with proposed penalties of $119,900.

On June 2, 2016, OSHA cited Nautic Star LLC, a boat manufacturer located in Amory, Mississippi, for fire, explosion, and electric shock hazards. Nautic was issued a total of fifteen serious violations and eight other safety related violations. The investigation was part of OSHA’s Regional Emphasis Program for Programmed Maritime Inspections.

OSHA issued citations to Costal Building Systems of Amelia Inc., an Amelia Island, Florida based roofing contractor on June 3, 2016 for again putting workers at risk of dangerous and deadly falls at a Florida work site, and Costal faces penalties of $108,500. OSHA stated there were repeated violations including not providing the proper fall protection and well as allowing workers to work without the proper protective equipment.

We would anticipate OSHA’s enforcement activity to continue as the summer months roll on.  OSHA recently kicked off its summer heat safety campaign to inform employers and employees about the dangers of working in the heat. They plan to roll out an updated website to warn of the dangers of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Along with their weather-based focus on safety, OSHA enforcement officials will certainly be on the lookout for safety violations.

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