Repeat Violations for OH Manufacturer

Friday, March 9, 2012 @ 05:03 PM gHale

Falls Stamping and Welding Co. is facing fines of $124,740 for 19 — including one willful and three repeat — safety and health violation, said Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) officials.

OSHA began an inspection after receiving a complaint for failing to lock out and tag out machinery energy sources at the company’s Cleveland metal stamping facility, which exposed workers to amputation hazards.

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The willful violation was for failing to ensure workers who lock out machinery, such as mechanical power presses, had training in lockout and tagout procedures. A willful violation is an intentional knowing or voluntary disregard for the law’s requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.

The repeat violations include failing to provide machine guarding for equipment including lathes and shears, ensure hand controls on mechanical power presses were in a fixed position to prevent workers from relocating them and ensure that safety blocks were in use when changing the press die. A repeat violation exists when OSHA previously cited an employer for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. The company had similar violations at its Cuyahoga Falls facility in 2009.

Seven serious safety violations involve failing to develop and document machine-specific lockout/tagout procedures, provide a periodic review of energy control procedures for the mechanical power presses, ensure that guards were in place on the maintenance department grinder, provide safety blocks for workers making adjustments and repairs to a mechanical power press, and ensure the horizontal band saw’s power cable had effective strain relief.

Four serious health violations include failing to perform a required workplace hazard assessment, train workers in the use of portable fire extinguishers, implement a hazard communication training program and evaluate powered industrial truck operators for competency. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

Four other-than-serious health violations involve failing to label bottles of oil with their contents and hazard warnings, affix a plate to indicate the load rating for the mezzanine storage level and include a list of hazardous chemicals used in the company’s hazard communication program. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.

“Failing to train workers in proper lockout and tagout procedures of energy sources in a manufacturing environment places workers at risk of amputations and other serious injuries,” said Howard Eberts, OSHA’s area director in Cleveland. “Employers cited with repeat violations demonstrate a lack of attention to employee safety and health.”

Due to the willful and repeat violations and the nature of the hazards, OSHA has placed Falls Stamping and Welding Co. in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program, which mandates targeted follow-up inspections to ensure compliance with the law.

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