Posts Tagged ‘violations’
Wednesday, January 9, 2013 @ 05:01 PM gHale
A Columbiana, OH, gray iron casting plant is facing $56,880 in fines for 10 health and safety violations for failing failed to monitor employees’ exposure to noise hazards and other infractions, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
COL-Pump Co., Inc. faces the fines for 10 violations, including willful violations regarding the company’s failure to monitor exposure to noise above 85 decibels.
COL-Pump co-owner Paul Rance said the company is working with OSHA and workers were never in any danger.
The company’s website said the foundry employs about 125 people.
OSHA said they began their investigation Sept. 14. The willful violations came about because COL-Pump failed to establish an audiogram — a graph that charts decibel levels measured — within six months of the first exposure to the increased decibel level. They also failed to provide the graphs to employees.
The company also got a repeat citation for failing to lower the noise exposure in the grinding area of the facility. OSHA cited the company for the same problem in 2009.
OSHA also cited Col-Pump for failing to maintain ladders in a safe condition and failing to ensure machine guarding remained affixed to a sand mixer system, both serious violations.
Wednesday, December 12, 2012 @ 03:12 PM gHale
Honeywell Electronic Chemicals LLC is facing $53,000 for 10 serious safety and health violations at the company’s facility in Mansfield, TX, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
OSHA’s Fort Worth Area Office personnel opened an investigation at the company’s facility at U.S. Highway 287 North as a part of the agency’s national emphasis program on process safety management, known as PSM, for covered chemical facilities. Employees suffered exposure to catastrophic releases of highly hazardous chemicals while conducting operations at the plant, officials said.
Honeywell Electronic Chemicals, a subsidiary of Chandler, AZ-based Honeywell International Inc., employs 30 workers in Mansfield.
“This company jeopardized the safety of its employees by failing to implement OSHA’s process safety management regulations effectively,” said Jack Rector, OSHA’s area director in Fort Worth, TX. “OSHA requires employers to provide safe and healthful working conditions to prevent accidents and illnesses.”
Six serious violations all relate to PSM, and include failing to ensure process equipment complies with recognized and generally accepted good engineering practices; ensure standard operating procedures were annually certified; conduct an incident investigation within 48 hours and ensure piping and instrumentation diagrams were up-to-date.
Four additional serious violations involve failing to ensure emergency exits were properly marked, confined spaces were identified by signage, the location of fire extinguishers were properly labeled and that hazardous containers were properly labeled. 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.
Monday, October 15, 2012 @ 05:10 PM gHale
Duke Energy’s two-unit, 2,258 MW Catawba nuclear power plant near York, SC, about 18 miles south of Charlotte, NC, will get increased oversight, said officials at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).
The increased oversight from the NRC is because of violations linked to an event in April where the plant temporarily lost offsite power.
The NRC said the two violations involved an incorrect modification to a Unit 1 generator protective relay that resulted in the loss of offsite power event.
The NRC found the violation for Unit 1 was a “white,” which means it has low to moderate safety significance.
Meanwhile, the violation for Unit 2 was “green,” or had very low safety significance.
The chain of events started April 4, when the plant lost power coming into the plant. Backup generators kicked in and the one operating reactor shut down safely. Catawba’s second reactor was already down for refueling.
Catawba officials declared an “unusual event,” the lowest of four emergency levels and one not experienced at the plant since 2006.
Nuclear plants have multiple backup systems to keep them safe if there is some type of malfunction. But losing off-site power removes the primary energy source needed to operate the plant and keep vital cooling water in circulation.
The NRC investigation traced the April incident to a programming error when electrical modifications occurred on the plant’s Unit 1 last July and November, and to Unit 2 in February. The error meant off-site power could inadvertently be lost anytime if the units’ generator shut down due to a power fluctuation.
That’s what happened April 4. A ground fault on a reactor coolant pump triggered the reactor, turbine and generator to stop. Because of the programming error, the unit also lost off-site power.
Duke corrected the problem and both Catawba reactors are now operating at full power.
Wednesday, September 19, 2012 @ 03:09 PM gHale
Omega Protein Inc. is facing a $79,200 fine for 25 safety and health violations based on an April inspection of the company’s processing plant in Moss Point, MS, after the death of a worker who got caught in a rotating screw conveyor, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
“This terrible incident could have been avoided if the employer had followed OSHA’s standards for energy control procedures,” said Clyde Payne, OSHA’s area director in Jackson. “It is the employer’s responsibility to make sure that employees are aware of and follow energy control procedures for their protection when working on any machinery.”
Twenty-one serious violations involve failing to have employees affix personal lockout devices to a group lockout device, develop a written respirator protection program, develop and document procedures for controlling hazardous energy, obtain audiograms annually, provide training for forklift operators, conduct annual noise training, properly secure compressed gas cylinders, and provide a suitable facility for quick eye and body drenching or flushing.
OSHA also identified fall and electrical hazards; a lack of equipment guarding on rotating drums, fan blades and horizontal rotating shafts; and a lack of guarding on the belts and pulleys of the grinding screw and the hopper screw conveyor. 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.
Citations also went out for four other-than-serious violations that include failing to provide signage for the exit door in the mechanic shop, caution signage for a low overhead hazard, strain relief for a fan’s flexible cord and a hazard warning label on ethylene glycol. 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.
Omega Protein produces omega-3 fish oil and specialty fish meal products. The company’s headquarters are in Houston, TX, and it has additional processing plants in Cameron and Abbeville, LA, and Reedville, VA.
Tuesday, August 21, 2012 @ 05:08 PM gHale
Cardolite Corp. is facing $82,500 in fines for one willful and 13 serious health and safety violations for exposing workers to chemical and other hazards at the company’s Newark, NJ, facility, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
OSHA initiated its March investigation in response to a complaint and also as part of the agency’s national emphasis program on process safety management for covered chemical facilities.
“Process safety management prevents or mitigates a catastrophic release of toxic, reactive or flammable liquids and gases in chemical processes,” said Kris Hoffman, director of OSHA’s Parsippany Area Office. “By not complying with PSM requirements, Cardolite jeopardized the safety of its chemical operators and others working at the site by exposing them to dangerous fire hazards. This negligent behavior will not be tolerated.”
The willful violation is failing to monitor employees’ formaldehyde exposure at six-month intervals. A willful violation is one committed with intentional knowing or voluntary disregard for the law’s requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health. That citation carries a $44,000 penalty.
The serious violations include failing to ensure that workers are not overexposed to formaldehyde, implement effective engineering controls and work practices to reduce formaldehyde exposure, provide medical surveillance to workers overexposed to formaldehyde, ensure process safety information is accurate and in place, provide a hazard analysis of the facility in the event of a chemical release and its impact, provide refresher training to chemical operators on the epichlorohydrin process, inspect and test epichlorohydrin piping within the process building, and identify deficiencies in process safety management compliance audits. A serious violation occurs when there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known. That citation carries $38,500 in penalties.
Cardolite Corp. employs 70 workers at its Newark location. The company develops and manufactures products based on cashew nutshell liquid for the coating, friction material and adhesive markets.
Wednesday, August 15, 2012 @ 04:08 PM gHale
Franklin Non-Ferrous Foundry Inc. faces $185,900 in fines for four willful and serious violations of workplace health and safety standards, chiefly involving a failure to protect workers from exposure to lead, said Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) officials.
The foundry, located in Franklin, NH, received the fines following an inspection by OSHA’s Concord Area Office in January to verify the abatement of hazards cited by the agency in 2009.
This most recent inspection found two employees exposed to excessive levels of lead during foundry operations as well as a lack of sufficient engineering controls to reduce lead exposure levels. Management also failed to conduct additional lead exposure monitoring when they used alloys with higher lead content and the ventilation system was not working. In addition, management failed to regularly measure the ventilation system to gauge its effectiveness in controlling lead exposure, and they did not use respirators when required.
These conditions led to OSHA issuing citations with $181,500 in proposed penalties for three willful violations. A willful violation is one committed with intentional knowing or voluntary disregard for the law’s requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.
“This employer is well aware of the necessary procedures to safeguard workers against lead exposure hazards, having been cited for 62 violations of OSHA’s lead standard since 1998, yet has chosen again to disregard them,” said Rosemarie Ohar, OSHA’s area director in New Hampshire. “The sizable fines proposed here reflect not only the severity of these hazards but this employer’s clear knowledge of and failure to address them.”
A citation with a $4,400 fine was for one serious violation involving employees overexposed to airborne copper fumes during pouring operations and a lack of controls to reduce the exposure level. 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.
OSHA placed Franklin Non-Ferrous Foundry Inc. in the agency’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program, which mandates targeted follow-up inspections to ensure compliance with the law.
Wednesday, July 11, 2012 @ 04:07 PM gHale
Cives Steel Co. is facing $132,000 in fines for willful, repeat and serious violations of workplace safety standards at its Augusta, ME, production facility, according to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) officials.
The steel products fabricator faces citations for electrical, crushing, laceration and other hazards identified during an inspection by OSHA’s Augusta area office in January.
“The sizable fines proposed in this case reflect the severity and recurring nature of a number of these hazards,” said William Coffin, OSHA’s area director for Maine. “For the safety of its workers, this employer must take effective and expeditious action to eliminate these conditions and prevent their recurrence.”
OSHA found the company did not supply maintenance employees with and did not use personal protective equipment to protect themselves against the hazards of electric shock, arc flash and arc blast while performing diagnostic work on electrical equipment.
This situation resulted in OSHA issuing the plant one willful citation, with a $70,000 fine. A willful violation is one committed with intentional knowing or voluntary disregard for the law’s requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.
Another electrical hazard cited is the use of extension cords as a substitute for fixed wiring, a condition similar to one for which OSHA had cited Cives Steel’s Gouverneur, NY, plant in 2010. This situation resulted in the issuance of one repeat citation, with a $22,000 fine. A repeat violation exists when OSHA cited an employer previously 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.
Nine serious citations, with $40,000 in fines, for crushing hazards stemming from the plant’s failure to label and test the weight capacity of an in-house fabricated lifting device used to lift metal plates weighing up to 900 pounds; laceration hazards from the unsafe practice of drop staring a chain saw; a lack of leg protection while using chain saws; falls from standing on raw and fabricated steel products; an incomplete confined space entry program; inadequate egress from a mezzanine and additional electrical hazards. 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.
The inspection was under OSHA’s Site-Specific Targeting Program, which directs inspections toward workplaces with a rate of workdays lost due to injuries and illnesses that is higher than the industry average.
Monday, June 18, 2012 @ 05:06 PM gHale
There are security problems at the troubled San Onofre nuclear plant on the California coast that could result in its owner Southern California Edison (SCE) suffering the pain of violations.
Inspectors reviewed records, observed activities and interviewed personnel during an inspection in May, said Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) officials.
The inspection found apparent violations, but officials withheld details citing security concerns.
The problems cited include failure to develop procedures to monitor security of certain electronic devices at the plant.
An Edison statement said plant officials took care of the before the NRC inspection, and the plant treats all deficiencies seriously, but gave no further details, citing security concerns.
San Onofre has been down for more than four months with because of excessive wear on some equipment.
Wednesday, May 23, 2012 @ 03:05 PM gHale
Following a May 1 blast at the Cordero Rojo coal mine near Gillette, WY, which registered as a small earthquake on seismographs, Cloud Peak Energy Inc. is now facing two notices of violation.
The May 1 cast blast at the mine, located 18 miles south of Gillette, shook the ground for miles and activated seismographs as far away as Europe.
The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) issued two notices of violation for the blast, which could bring a fine of up to $5,000. Additional penalties could occur if Cloud Peak doesn’t submit plans by next month on how to prevent such an accident from occurring again.
The federal Mine Safety and Health Administration also issued a citation, an administration spokesman said, but they have not assessed a penalty yet.
The DEQ violations said the mine intended to set off 26,852 pounds of explosives during a routine cast blast, a procedure designed to knock out large amounts of rock and soil above a coal seam.
However, the department said that upon detonation shortly after 11 a.m., explosives adjacent to the blast area were also accidentally set off, creating a blast in excess of the legal limit of 85,308 pounds of explosives.
The explosion was so large that some Gillette residents felt the ground shake from 16 miles away. Several European earthquake detection stations registered the vibrations from the blast, and seismographs at the University of Utah, 400 miles away from the Cordero Rojo mine, initially recorded the shock as a magnitude 4.3 earthquake with an epicenter north of Green River, 50 percent closer than where the actual explosion took place.
The state suspended the blaster in charge of the explosion and the blaster’s assistant for at least 60 days.