Berridge Hit with Safety Fines

Tuesday, March 6, 2012 @ 02:03 PM gHale

Metal roofing component maker, Berridge Manufacturing Co., is facing a fine of $131,670 for 17 violations for exposing workers to multiple safety hazards at the company’s facility in San Antonio, TX, said Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) officials.

OSHA inspected the 150-worker plant Aug. 30, 2011 as part of the agency’s Site-Specific Targeting Program for industries with high injury and illness rates.

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Eight serious violations include failing to ensure workers had fall protection while working from the tops of tanks; keep floors and surfaces clear to eliminate tripping hazards; ensure that equipment was free from electrical hazards; provide the required machine guarding for vertical belts and pulleys; and inspect overhead cranes and hoists, wire ropes and hooks. 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.

Five repeat violations involve failing to protect workers from unguarded and unprotected horizontal belts, pulley assemblies and horizontal shafts on furnace motors; ensure openings on electrical equipment ended up closed; and provide proper relief strain for electrical cords. 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. OSHA found similar violations in 2007.

“Repeat violations mean that workers are exposed to the same hazards over and over again,” said Jeff Funke, the agency’s area director in San Antonio. “Berridge Manufacturing has a responsibility to ensure that employees are protected from possible injuries and illnesses by correcting these hazards immediately.”

Four other-than-serious violations were for failing to adequately describe occupational injuries and illnesses on OSHA 300 logs, properly certify the OSHA 300A summary form, review the energy control program on an annual basis and ensure that electrical motors had legible markings indicating their electrical classification and division. 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.

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