Million Dollar Penalty for Machine Guarding Violations at Auto Parts Manufacturer

March 19, 2018

OSHA announced that auto parts manufacturer Sunfield Inc. has agreed to a settlement that includes a $1 million penalty, and will hire a safety and health coordinator to resolve safety and health violations found at the company’s Hebron plant.

OSHA inspected the facility in January and February 2016 after two employees suffered severe injuries when they came in contact with moving machine parts. The inspection also found that the company lacked adequate power press guarding, and hazardous energy control procedures that could have prevented the incidents.

“Employers have an obligation under the law to ensure safe and healthy workplaces,” said OSHA’s Chicago-area Regional Administrator Ken Nishiyama Atha. “In addition to paying a $1 million penalty, this company has committed to invest in the safety and health of its employees and work cooperatively with OSHA.”

As part of he settlement, Sunfield also agreed to revise die-change procedures, develop a program for ensuring installed light curtains and interlocks are functioning properly prior to each shift, work with third-party auditors to complete a safety and health audit of its facility, and meet quarterly with OSHA staff to assure implementation of this agreement.

Jacksonville Hazardous Waste and DOT Hazardous Materials Training

Register for Hazardous Waste Management and DOT Hazardous Materials Training: The Complete Course in Jacksonville, FL, on March 27-29 and save $100 or receive an Amazon Fire HD 10 tablet with electronic versions of both handbooks. To take advantage of this offer, click here or call 800-537-2372.

New Orleans Hazardous Waste and DOT Hazardous Materials Training 

Register for Hazardous Waste Management and DOT Hazardous Materials Training: The Complete Course in New Orleans, LA, on April 3-5 and save $100 or receive an Amazon Fire HD 10 tablet with electronic versions of both handbooks. To take advantage of this offer, click here or call 800-537-2372.

San Diego Hazardous Waste and DOT Hazardous Materials Training 

Register for California Hazardous Waste Management and DOT Hazardous Materials Training: The Complete Course in San Diego, CA, on April 10-12 and save $100 or receive an Amazon Fire HD 10 tablet with electronic versions of both handbooks. To take advantage of this offer, click here or call 800-537-2372.

Bill Introduced to Prevent Workplace Violence in Healthcare

Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA), together with 12 other House Democrats, introduced legislation intended to curb workplace violence in health care facilities.

The Health Care Workplace Violence Prevention Act, introduced March 8, would require OSHA to create a standard that would direct health care facilities to develop and implement facility- and unit-specific workplace violence prevention plans.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, at least 58 hospital workers died as a result of workplace violence between 2011 and 2016. In 2016, the Government Accountability Office found that health care workers at inpatient facilities were five to 12 times more likely to encounter nonfatal workplace violence than all other workers.

The legislation follows regulation enacted in 2014 in California, which went into effect in 2017, directing Cal/OSHA to craft a workplace violence prevention standard. The law requires all covered health care employers in California to develop and issue – by April 1 – plans to prevent workplace violence and ensure the safety of patients and workers.

The bill introduced by Khanna is similar: Workplaces would create and implement comprehensive violence prevention plans with input from doctors, nurses and custodial workers. The bill stresses prevention, training and worker participation. It defines workplace violence broadly to include not only physical acts of violence, but threats of violence. It emphasizes staffing as a crucial ingredient in preventing violence from occurring and responding quickly when it does.

“Health care workers, doctors and nurses are continuously at risk of workplace violence incidents – strangling, punching, kicking and other physical attacks – that can cause severe injury or death,” Khanna said in a March 8 press release. “This is simply unacceptable. The Health Care Workplace Violence Prevention Act puts a comprehensive plan in place and is a national solution to this widespread problem modeled after the success seen in California.”

National Nurses United, the nation's largest union of registered nurses, applauded the bill. “Right now, health care facilities are not doing enough to prevent these violent incidents,” NNU Co-President Deborah Burger said in a press release. “Under the proposed federal standard, hospitals would need to assess and correct for environmental risk factors, patient specific risk factors, staffing and security system sufficiency. There are a number of interventions that can reduce violence in the hospital.

“For example, affixing furniture and lighting so they can't be used as weapons, maintaining clear lines of sight between workers while they are caring for patients, and providing easy access to panic buttons or phones to call for help. It is imperative that nurses, doctors, and other health care workers, along with security staff and custodial personnel, are all involved in the development and implementation of these plans.”

REACH Deadline Approaching for EU-Wide Registration of Chemicals

The European Union’s REACH Regulation requires companies that manufacture or import chemical substances into the EU to register them with the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA). If your company manufactures or imports chemicals, have a look at the seven steps to take for a successful REACH registration. The last registration deadline is 31 May 2018.

If your company uses chemicals in the EU, check the search for chemicals to make sure your critical substances have been registered or are intended to be, and that the registration covers your uses.

Burn Violations Result in Proposed Fines of $143,954 for Summit Milk Products

OSHA has cited Summit Milk Products LLC, based in Waterloo, New York for ongoing failure to protect employees against burns at its facility. The cheese and dairy products manufacturer faces a total of $143,954 in proposed penalties for uncorrected and new hazards.

OSHA inspected the facility in September 2017, after Summit Milk Products LLC failed to inform the Department about how it corrected violations identified during a January 2017 inspection that was initiated after employees were seriously burned from heated milk in excess of 150 degrees. The Agency issued citations for failing to provide adequate personal protective equipment, and not recording injuries in the OSHA 300 log.

“Workplace injuries are preventable if employers provide appropriate safety equipment and required training,” said Christopher Adams, OSHA Syracuse Area Office Director. “Despite being cited three times in the past 14 months for similar hazards, this employer disregarded safety requirements and their employees were severely burned.”

$155,208 in Fines Proposed for Liqui-Box Corp Following Amputation

OSHA cited Liqui-Box Corp., an Ashland plastic bag manufacturer, for serious and repeated violations of machine safety procedures. The company faces proposed penalties totaling $155,208.

OSHA initiated an investigation after an employee clearing a jam on a bag sealing machine suffered a partial amputation of his thumb. Liqui-Box Corp. was cited for failing to adequately train employees on lockout/tagout procedures and failing to complete required annual audits of the company’s safety processes. The employer has been placed in OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program.

“Hundreds of workers are injured every year in manufacturing facilities because employers fail to follow machine safety procedures,” said Kim Nelson, OSHA Area Office Director in Toledo. “This company exposed an employee to serious injury by failing to take the necessary and well-known safety precautions.”

Langston Concrete Could Pay Over $90,000 for Trench Collapse Violation

OSHA cited Langston Concrete Inc. for failing to protect its workers from trench collapse hazards. The Colorado Springs company faces proposed penalties of $90,535.

On Dec. 7, 2017, OSHA responded after a trench collapsed on four employees. One employee was buried, and suffered a broken hip and femur. Three others were partially covered, but uninjured. Prior to the collapse, the employees were preparing to install a diverter box on an existing storm water pipe. OSHA cited the company for not removing employees from a hazardous work area, and for failing to install cave-in protection.

“This trench collapse, and the injuries it caused, could have been prevented if the employer had used required cave-in protection,” said David Nelson, OSHA Englewood Area Office Director.

Ergonomic Safety Standard for Hotel Workers Adopted in California

California has adopted a new workplace safety and health regulation to prevent and reduce work-related injuries to housekeepers in the hotel and hospitality industry. This is the first ergonomic standard in the nation written specifically to protect hotel housekeepers. The new standard, which will be enforced by Cal/OSHA, was approved March 9 by the Office of Administrative Law and will become effective July 1.

“Hotel housekeepers have higher rates of acute and cumulative injuries compared to workers in other industries, and data shows those injuries have steadily increased,” said Cal/OSHA Chief Juliann Sum. “This regulation requires employers to identify, evaluate and correct housekeeping-related hazards with the involvement of housekeepers and their union representative.”

The new regulation requires employers in the hotel and lodging industry to establish, implement and maintain an effective Musculoskeletal Injury Prevention Program (MIPP). Hotel housekeepers frequently suffer musculoskeletal injuries from lifting mattresses, pulling linens, pushing heavy carts, and slipping, tripping or falling while cleaning bathrooms. The MIPP must include the following:

  • Procedures to identify and evaluate housekeeping hazards through worksite evaluations that include housekeeper input
  • Procedures to investigate musculoskeletal injuries to housekeepers
  • Methods to correct identified hazards
  • Training of employees and supervisors on safe practices and controls, and a process for early reporting of injuries to the employer


In 2012, hotel worker representatives presented a petition to the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (OSHSB) requesting a new standard to regulate the specific hazards faced by hotel housekeepers. Cal/OSHA convened open advisory meetings over a three-year period to gather information, and determined that existing regulations did not adequately address the hazards faced by housekeepers. Dozens of workers spoke at the meetings, sharing their experiences and discussing how their injuries impacted their lives at work and at home.

Musculoskeletal injuries, which are injuries of a muscle, tendon, ligament, bursa, peripheral nerve, joint, bone or spinal disc can prevent workers from returning to their jobs, and can impose high financial costs on the injured workers and their families, employers and insurers. OSHSB adopted the proposed standard on January 18 after six years of staff research and analysis and participation by the public through meetings, hearings and submission of comments. The standard will be added to Title 8 of the California Code of Regulations as section 3345, Hotel Housekeeping Musculoskeletal Injury Prevention.

Partnership Formed to Protect Workers on Hospital Construction Project

OSHA and the McCarthy Building Companies have partnered to help protect employees working on the Christus Spohn Hospital construction project in Corpus Christi.

The three-year partnership will focus on fall, struck-by, caught-in or between, and electrocution hazards, and will educate employers and employees on best practices, and improving safety and health programs.

“Partnering with a company to focus on employee safety and health is a worthwhile endeavor,” said Travis Clark, OSHA Corpus Christi Area Office Director. “We look forward to working with McCarthy Building Companies to ensure that employees on this project return home each day without injury.”

Indiana Workplace Safety Awards

Commissioner Rick J. Ruble presented the Governor’s Workplace Safety Award to 11 Hoosier companies in recognition of exemplary efforts to protect workers from occupational safety and health hazards. Additionally, six individuals received special recognition with the Everyday Safety Hero Award. Held at the Indiana Convention Center, the Governor’s Workplace Safety Awards Luncheon was part of the 2018 Indiana Safety and Health Conference. The annual event is hosted by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce and Central Indiana Chapter of the American Society of Safety Engineers in partnership with the Indiana Department of Labor.

“We are honored to recognize some of the most dedicated workplace safety and health leaders in the state of Indiana,” said Ruble. “These companies and ‘safety heroes’ play a significant part in the greater cause of occupational safety and health for all working Hoosiers. We are so thankful for their commitment to protecting workers.”

Indiana companies were recognized in the following categories: Education and Outreach, Innovations, Partnerships, and Rising Star. The 2018 Governor’s Workplace Safety Award recipients are:

  • AAA Roofing Company, Inc. – Innovations for Construction (Small-sized company)
  • Gribbins Insulation – Innovations for Construction (Medium-sized company)
  • Gaylor Electric, Inc. – Innovations for Construction (Large-sized company)
  • Whitesville Mill Service – Innovations for General Industry (Small-sized company)
  • Cerro Wire, LLC – Innovations for General Industry (Medium-sized company)
  • National Office Furniture – Innovations for General Industry (Large-sized company)
  • Steinberger Construction, Inc. – Education and Outreach (Internal)
  • Shiel Sexton Company, Inc. – Education and Outreach (External)
  • Sustainable Sourcing, LLC – Partnerships
  • West Central Conservancy District – Rising Star for General Industry
  • Weddle Bros. Construction Companies – Rising Star for Construction


“A company’s workforce is its most important asset and protecting those employees is of the utmost importance for companies all over the state. We are pleased to recognize the hard work and dedication to safety that the 2018 award winners have shown to their workforce,” says Indiana Chamber President and CEO Kevin Brinegar. “When health and safety are prioritized, workplaces are more productive and more profitable for everyone.”

The Everyday Safety Hero Award recognized those Hoosiers who have championed workplace safety and health excellence in their respective workplaces. Individuals, who may not be safety and health professionals, were nominated by their peers or organizations. Winners were selected based on a narrative provided by their respective nominators. Winners of the Everyday Safety Hero Award are:

  • Rich Cox, operations manager at Whitesville Mill Service, of Crawfordsville, Indiana
  • Alma Cornejo, team leader at MacLellan Integrated Services at Subaru Lafayette, of Lafayette, Indiana
  • James Carey, team leader at MacLellan Integrated Services at SRG Evansville, of Evansville, Indiana
  • Manny Myers, sanitation supervisor at Red Gold, Inc. – Elwood Facility, of Elwood, Indiana
  • David Ranney, glass handler at Cardinal IG, of Fremont, Indiana
  • Lyle Williams, shop supervisor at Phoenix Fabricators and Erectors, LLC., of Avon, Indiana


BAE Systems Recognized for Excellence in Workplace Safety

OSHA certified BAE Systems Norfolk Ship Repair facility as a Star worksite, the highest level of recognition in the Agency’s Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) for workplace safety and health excellence.

BAE Systems Norfolk Ship Repair is a full-service facility with more than 1,000 employees whose primary customer is the U.S. Navy. The Norfolk facility’s injury and illness rate was 60% below the national average and their rate of incidents resulting in lost work days was 56% under the industry average.

“BAE Systems has demonstrated a commitment to employees at its Norfolk repair facility by maintaining a comprehensive and effective workplace safety and health management system,” said Michael Rivera, Acting OSHA Regional Administrator.

VPP recognizes employers and workers in private industry and federal agencies that have implemented effective safety and health management systems, and maintain injury and illness rates below national Bureau of Labor Statistics averages for their respective industries. VPP recognition represents management, labor, and OSHA working cooperatively and proactively to prevent fatalities, injuries and illnesses through hazard prevention and control, worksite analysis, training, management commitment, and worker involvement.

National Poison Prevention Week 

National Poison Prevention Week, which is being observed this week, is a great time for parents to be aware of how to prevent children from accidental poisoning by household products.

One of the things that all parents know is, little kids can move fast and young children frequently put their hands in their mouth. Kids are always curious to explore their world. For this reason, EPA encourages parents and care givers to always keep potentially harmful products in a high cabinet – well out of the reach of children.

About every 15 seconds, U.S. poison control centers receive a call about an accidental poisoning. Data from the National Safety Council indicate that more than one million poisoning incidents each year involve children under six years of age, swallowing common household items like drugs, vitamins, cosmetics and personal care, pesticides and cleaning products.

National Poison Prevention Week was first authorized by Congress in 1961 with the theme, "Children Act Fast...So Do Poisons!" Many poisonings occur when adults are distracted for just a few moments by the telephone or doorbell. That's why locking up chemical products is so important.

Besides keeping potentially dangerous household products out of reach from kids and pets, you can also consider using safer alternatives. EPA's "Safer Choice" label is designed to help you easily identify cleaning and other household products that are made with ingredients that are safer for children, people and the environment. Nearly 2,400 products have earned the right to carry the logo. They're available in local grocery stores and hardware stores, and include cleaners for use at home, offices, schools, hotels and sports venues.

So please remember, during Poison Prevention Week, and all through the year: Keep potentially harmful household products like medicines, cleaning products, pesticides and cosmetics well out of reach of your children and pets so accidental poisonings can be prevented. And, consider learning about using products that have earned an EPA Safer Choice logo.

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