February 03, 2002

The FAA has proposed to impose a $100,000 civil penalty against Delta Air Lines, of Atlanta, for allegedly violating the Federal Aviation Regulations regarding its FAA-approved anti-drug program.

In the proposal, FAA alleged that Delta failed to provide an employee access to his drug testing records as required by the procedures for transportation workplace drug testing programs. The alleged violation, which occurred in 1994, was discovered during an FAA inspection of Delta's anti-drug and alcohol misuse prevention program in 2000. The inspection showed that for a period of five years, Delta failed to provide all records to an employee relating to his drug test, as required by the regulations.

Delta has 30 days from receipt of the FAA notice to submit a reply to the agency.


A wire manufacturer's failure to protect employees from serious hazards such as overexposure to lead has led OSHA to issue $179,500 in citations against the company. The citations were issued by OSHA against Davis Wire Pueblo Corporation, following an inspection that began in July in response to an employee complaint.

OSHA cited Davis Wire for an alleged willful violation for exposing employees to lead in excess of the permissible exposure level (PEL); failure to adequately monitor for lead; and failure to implement engineering controls to reduce lead exposure. Overexposure to lead can harm the gastrointestinal tract, blood, central nervous system and kidneys, according to John Healy, OSHA area office director.

A second alleged willful citation was issued for failure to have a respiratory program, as well as failure to provide medical evaluations, respirator fit testing, and respirator training for employees exposed to lead in excess of the PEL. Proposed penalties total $140,000 for the two alleged willful violations.

A total of $17,500 in penalties was proposed for five alleged serious violations: failure to properly clean and store respirators; lack of an adequate eyewash station; damaged electrical panels; inadequate strain relief on electrical cords; and locating employees' food and beverages in a high-lead area. An additional alleged serious citation, with a proposed penalty of $2,000, was issued for inadequate chemical labeling, and for not providing a hazard communication program and hazard communication training.

Two alleged repeat citations were for exposing employees to an ingoing nip point and allowing employees to wear lead-contaminated clothing into their lunch or break room where their table was contaminated with lead. These carry proposed penalties of $20,000.

Davis Wire, located adjacent to the Rocky Mountain Steel Mill, has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to request an informal conference with the OSHA area director, or to contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.


Repeated failures of a Haleyville, Ala., door manufacturing plant to protect its workers from machine hazards contributed to the death of an employee in August, 2001 and may cost the company $102,000 in proposed penalties.

The Aug. 4, 2001, fatality occurred in the lay-up department where door parts and wooden stiles are fed through a glue machine and placed on a hydraulic scissor lift. The lift is lowered into a pit as more door parts are added until about 50 doors are completed, at which time the scissor lift ascends and the doors are sent to the next operation. While clearing parts and debris from the pit, a Premdor, Inc. employee was crushed when the scissor lift slowly descended on him.

"This employer knew about 'lockout/tagout' procedures that render machinery inoperable during service and repair but neglected to enforce them," said Roberto Sanchez, OSHA's Birmingham area director. "In fact, a full inspection of the Haleyville facility in 1999 resulted in citations for similar violations and Premdor, Inc. had been cited previously in connection with a similar fatality at its Tampa plant."

OSHA's investigation of the accident resulted in four repeat citations for: not posting appropriate confined space warning signs at the scissor lift pit; not enforcing the use of lockout/tagout procedures when employees enter the pit for service work and maintenance purposes; failing to conduct periodic inspections of energy control procedures, and unguarded pinch points at the floor level of scissor lifts. The repeat violations resulted in penalties totaling $95,000.

The remaining $7,000 fine was assessed for one serious violation -- failure to provide individual locks, tags, and blocking devices, and to train employees in their use, to prevent release of stored energy or the unexpected start-up of the scissor lift.

OSHA defines a serious violation as one in which there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result and the employer knew, or should have known, of the hazard. A repeat violation occurs when an employer has been cited previously for a substantially similar condition and the citation has become a final order of the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The company has 15 working days to contest OSHA's most recent citations before the Commission.

Internationally owned Premdor, Inc. employs approximately 4,150 workers in the U.S., about 208 of who are located at the Haleyville plant


The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board today issued a case study of a destructive explosion that occurred at the plant of Concept Sciences Inc., near Allentown, PA, on February 19, 1999.

As a result of the explosion four Concept Sciences employees and the manager of an adjacent business were killed. Two Concept Sciences employees were injured, as were four people in nearby buildings. The explosion damaged ten buildings and several residences in the immediate area.

The case study found that the explosion was most likely due to high concentration and temperature in a process vessel containing several hundred pounds of hydroxylamine, a potentially explosive chemical used in the manufacture of semiconductors.

Concept Sciences' process safety management systems were insufficient to properly address the hazards inherent in its manufacturing process. The case study added that "Basic chemical engineering practices - such as process design reviews, hazard analyses, and reviews by appropriate technical experts - were not adequately implemented."

Finally, the case study pointed out that the local zoning process allowed a highly hazardous production facility to be located inappropriately in a light industrial park.

The CSB is an independent federal agency whose mission is to ensure the safety of workers and the public by preventing chemical incidents. The CSB is a scientific investigatory organization, not an enforcement or regulatory body. The Board determines the root causes of accidents, issues safety recommendations, and performs special studies on chemical safety issues.


An Olshan Foundation Repair Co. employee in Houston was electrocuted during a tunnel excavation beneath a residence undergoing a foundation repair. OSHA cited the company with alleged safety and health violations and proposed penalties totaling $148,500.

The OSHA Houston south area office conducted the investigation that began July 30, 2001, and cited Olshan with two willful, one serious and one other-than serious violation.

Two willful violations were issued for failing to ensure that electrical equipment was free from hazards, such as missing ground prongs, exposed conductors and damaged insulation. The second willful violation was for failing to use proper ground fault circuit breakers or an assured equipment-grounding program to automatically trip off any leakage of electrical current. A willful violation is defined as one that is committed with an intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and regulations.

The serious violation was for failing to train employees in recognizing and avoiding hazardous conditions such as confined space, working in a conductive and damp location with defective electrical equipment.

The other-than-serious violation was failing to document injuries and illnesses on the OSHA 200 log. The law requires employers to log in any occupational illness, injury or fatality. The company did not log in the fatality. An other-than-serious violation is a hazardous condition that would probably not result in serious harm or injury to employees.

Olshan has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to either comply, request an informal conference with the OSHA area director, or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.