Onyx Industrial Services Fined $117,500 for Safety and Health Violations

July 17, 2006

OSHA has proposed $117,500 in fines against Onyx Industrial Services Inc., Nitro, W.Va., for allegedly failing to protect its workers from safety and health hazards at its worksite in Cheshire, Ohio.

The company was cited for one alleged willful, one alleged repeat, and four alleged serious violations following an inspection by OSHA's Columbus area office in January. The investigation found that two employees became engulfed by lime slurry while hydroblasting inside a tank at the American Electric Power generating station in Cheshire. Onyx was contracted by American Electric Power to perform services and maintenance operations.

"Failing to comply with OSHA's safety standards when workers enter confined spaces puts them at unreasonable and unnecessary risk," said Deborah Zubaty, OSHA's area director in Columbus. "Employers are responsible for keeping the workplace free of hazardous conditions."

The willful citation was issued for failing to implement confined space entry conditions, exposing employees to engulfment and entrapment hazards. The alleged serious violations included failing to provide adequate personal protective equipment, failing to provide training on the hazardous conditions of entering a confined space and failure to identify rescue and emergency services for workers. A repeat citation was issued for failing to obtain the required information regarding the permit space hazards and entry operations.

OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with an intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and regulations. A serious citation is issued when death or serious physical harm are likely to result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known. A repeat violation is defined as a violation of any standard, regulation, rule or order where, upon reinspection, a substantially similar violation is found.


Improve Workplace Security

 The program is designed for all businesses, including government agencies, and features a series of four posters that focus on such issues as robberies and break-ins, computer intrusions and corporate espionage, and identity theft and intellectual property violations. A brochure is also available that combines information from the four posters into a tri-fold for quick reference.


$49,000 Penalty for Trenching Hazards

OSHA cited Jacksonville-based J.B. Coxwell Contracting Inc., with proposed penalties totaling $49,544, following an inspection of trenching work at a Green Cove Springs, Fla., work site.

"Trenching remains one of the most hazardous jobs in construction if proper procedures are not followed," said James D. Borders, OSHA's Jacksonville, Fla., area director. "Our goal is to ensure that excavation workers are protected from hazards."

The agency issued a willful citation, with a proposed penalty of $45,000 for failing to provide an adequate protective system, which exposed employees to a trench-collapse hazard. OSHA issues willful citations when employers have shown intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and regulations.

OSHA also issued three serious citations, with total proposed penalties of $4,544, because workers were exposed to fall hazards due to the lack of a ladder to enter and exit the trench, collapse hazards due to water on the bottom of the trench, and crushing hazards due to a 1,900-pound suspended load over a worker in the trench.


Lack of Lockout-Tagout Leads to Worker Fatality and $78,750 Penalty

OSHA has cited SP Newsprint Co., Dublin, Ga., following a fatal accident at the company's manufacturing plant. The agency is proposing penalties totaling $78,750.

"This tragic accident could have been prevented if the company had followed required safety procedures," said John J. Deifer, OSHA's Savannah, Ga., area director. "Accidents like this simply should not happen."

OSHA's fatality inspection began Jan. 10, after a maintenance employee assigned to lubricate the dry end of a paper production machine was pinned between moving parts and crushed against a drum gear.

The agency issued 22 serious citations to the company for failure to use lockout-tagout procedures that would have rendered the machinery inoperative, inadequately training employees about procedures failure to periodically inspect and certify the procedures; and not protecting workers from electrical, fire, and other hazards.


OSHA Cites Newell $59,100 for Trenching Hazards at Work Site

OSHA cited Montgomery, Ala., based W.S. Newell Inc., with proposed penalties totaling $59,100, following a trenching safety inspection at a Daphne, Ala., work site.

"Trench safety standards must be followed to protect workers from potential cave-in hazards," said Ken Nishiyama-Atha, OSHA’s area director in Mobile. "Trenching remains one of the most hazardous jobs in construction, and it’s our goal to ensure that workers are safe." The agency issued one willful citation to the company with a proposed penalty of $49,500, alleging that employees were allowed to work in a 12-foot-deep excavation without an adequate protective system and without properly sloped trench walls.

The company also received four serious citations with proposed penalties totaling $9,600 for alleged violations of safety and health standards, including failing to properly train employees, allowing workers in the trench without head protection, improper support of underground installations, and inappropriate use of ladders.


High Hazard Industries in

Kansas Focus of Local Emphasis Program



OSHA Enters Workplace Safety and Health Alliance with United Building Centers to Protect 5,500 Workers in 18 States

OSHA has entered into an alliance with United Building Centers (UBC) designed to enhance workplace safety and health protection for some 5,500 workers in 18 states.

"This is an opportunity for OSHA to provide training and technical support to one of the nation’s major employers to help them develop safety and health systems," said Michael Connors, OSHA regional administrator in Chicago. "Our goal is to have every employee go home healthy and uninjured at the end of the day."

The regional alliance is committed to lowering the injury and illness rates through increased safety and workplace health training, and a renewed attention to issues surrounding the safety of workers. In an agreement signed in Chicago on July 11, OSHA and UBC have pledged continued cooperation in developing site-specific safety programs, training new workers in workplace safety and health, and continuously promoting safe practices throughout the life of the agreement. While only Region 5, Minnesota and Michigan have signed the agreement, the training and outreach materials developed through this alliance will affect employees working throughout the United States.

UBC is a provider of building materials and services consisting of 187 retail centers, seven distribution centers, eleven truss plants, 25e construction companies, two concrete companies, nine millwork companies, six rental operations, 13 truss/panel operations, and three panel operations. These facilities are located in Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming.


OSHA Renews Alliance with Board of Certified Safety Professionals, Certification Council

Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Edwin G. Foulke Jr. signed a two-year renewal of the Board of Certified Safety Professionals (BCSP) and the Council on Certification of Health, Environmental and Safety Technologists (CCHEST) alliance that will continue to promote safety and health professionalism in American workplaces.

 In addition, the organizations will use their collective expertise to help enhance safety professionals' education and professional expertise and promote the value of increasing safety competency in the workplace.

"The alliance will continue our joint effort on encouraging safety professionals to strive for enhanced knowledge of workplace safety and health programs, processes and regulations, and to further educate those same professionals on how to achieve accredited certifications," said Foulke.

Added BCSP President Larry Jones, CSP, "BCSP looks forward to its continued relationship with OSHA in advancing safer and more healthful workplaces for the American worker. The alliance between BCSP, OSHA and CCHEST will continue to strengthen the professional expertise of safety professionals through outreach, education and training, and the promotion of accredited certification among safety professionals."

"CCHEST, through its alliance with OSHA, is working together to advance safety and health professionalism and career development," said CCHEST President Adrian Hertog, CSP, OHST. "It is important that we continue to jointly promote the safety and health profession, assist people in advancing their safety and health practice, and achieve more effective safety and health performance through professionalism and certification. Working together we can achieve a safer working environment."

Alliance participants will continue to work together on developing job performance metrics for safety and health professionals and related safety curricula that could be incorporated into training and education courses, including those offered by OSHA's Education Centers. 

OSHA, BCSP and CCHEST will also continue to exchange information regarding case studies and lessons learned by employers and individuals resulting from improving safety and health professionalism and attaining safety and health accredited certifications.


Stucco Applicator Faces Nearly $50,000 for Workplace Safety and Health Violations

OSHA has cited Donahue Stucco, LLC for alleged violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, proposing $46,200 in penalties. The Absecon, N.J., company performs masonry work, employing eight workers.

OSHA initiated its inspection in January 2006 after the company's employees were observed working from a scaffold without fall protection at a construction site in Egg Harbor City, N.J. According to Gary Roskoski, area director of OSHA's Marlton office, the company was cited for two willful violations, which carry a penalty of $25,000, four serious violations, which carry a penalty of $8,000 and three repeat violations, which carry a penalty of $13,200.

"OSHA regulations are designed to ensure that employers maintain a safe and healthy workplace for their employees," said Roskoski. "Without OSHA enforcement on this site, Donahue Stucco employees would have continued working without the appropriate protection required, and been exposed to hazards that could have resulted in fatal injuries."

The willful violations include the company's failure to provide fall protection for employees working from a scaffold or a ladder to access the scaffold and building ledge. The repeat violations are due to the company's failure to provide workers with hard hats and failure to secure the scaffolding workers were using. The serious violations include the company's failure to have an accident prevention program, failure to provide fall protection for employees working on a building edge 14 feet high, incorrect use of cross braces on scaffolding, and failure to train employees to recognize hazards associated with scaffold use.

OSHA Renews Alliance with Kansas City Power and Light

OSHA and Kansas City Power and Light (KCP&L) agreed to renew their alliance, which addresses overhead power-line hazards in the telecommunication and cable television installation industries. Recognized for its exemplary safety achievements in September 2005, the company has had a zero-fatality rate since the original alliance was signed in July 2004.

"We are pleased to continue this two-year program with KCP&L, and we applaud them for their effort in reducing electrical-contact accidents by working with OSHA in an alliance to raise safety awareness," said OSHA Regional Administrator Charles E. Adkins, CIH.

"This collaborative effort led to a significant reduction in the number of reportable accidents experienced by KCP&L employees and independent contractor employees. No worker fatalities were reported by these groups since the alliance went into effect," Adkins added. "This achievement is a testimony to the cooperative efforts of employers, workers and OSHA to build a culture of safety, and we commend KCP&L for its commitment to worker safety and health."

OSHA and KCP&L have combined resources, including sharing expertise, technical knowledge and best practices with these industries. Informational packets in English and Spanish were produced and distributed by OSHA and KCP&L that contained materials on safety and health programs, cable television line installation hazards, safety requirements for attaching cabling to utility poles, and OSHA information, including contacts for the Kansas and Missouri State Consultation Services.


Manufacturer Fined $138,200 for Removing Safety Guards and Other Safety Violations

OSHA has proposed $138,200 in fines against Florand Co., Youngstown, Ohio, for alleged willful, repeat and serious violations of workplace safety and health standards.

OSHA opened an inspection at Florand's Youngstown manufacturing plant in January after receiving information that safety guards had been removed from stamping presses. Among the items the company manufactures are strapping seals and tools and metal stampings.

The investigation resulted in citations issued to the Florand Co. alleging six willful, 12 serious and five repeat violations of federal workplace safety and health regulations. The alleged serious violations include an insufficient program to lock out machinery during maintenance, lack of safety guards on various machines, deficiencies with mechanical power presses, several electrical hazards; and an improperly secured liquefied petroleum (LP) gas container.

OSHA issues a serious citation 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.

Violations are categorized as willful where there was either an intentional disregard or plain indifference to employee safety or OSHA regulations. Alleged willful violations include employee exposure to the potential unexpected start-up of machines or equipment (failure to lock out), 21 mechanical power presses that were not properly safeguarded, and failure to inspect and conduct repairs to machines as necessary.

Violations are categorized as a repeat if the employer has been cited previously for the same condition. Alleged repeat violations include the failure to train employees on the use of fire extinguishers, failure to guard drive belts and pulleys, electrical hazards and not maintaining a written hazard-communication program for employees.

"Several of these violations were revealed during a previous inspection, but this employer failed to maintain a safe workplace," said OSHA Area Director Rob Medlock of Cleveland. "When employers shirk their responsibility to keep the workplace free of such hazards, the results can be tragic for workers and their families."


OSHA Signs Alliance with National Maritime Safety Association

OSHA has formed a new alliance with the National Maritime Safety Association (NMSA), a national trade association that represents and advises the U.S. private sector marine cargo handling industry on safety and health issues, to foster safer and more healthful workplaces for marine-cargo handling employees.

Through the OSHA and NMSA alliance, the organizations will collaborate to provide NMSA members and others in the marine cargo handling industry with information, guidance and access to training resources that will help them protect employees' health and safety. The alliance will particularly focus on intermodal container lashing issues.


Foundry Fined $136,000 for Willful Violations

OSHA has cited Radial International Corp. for alleged safety and health violations, proposing a total of $136,000 in penalties. The Kearny, N.J., company, doing business as Radio Casting Corp., is a brass foundry and aluminum die-casting operation that employs 35 workers.

OSHA initiated its investigation in December 2005 in response to a referral by the Kearny Fire Department concerning open burning in the company's facility. According to Phil Peist, area director of OSHA's Parsippany, N.J., office, the company was cited for three willful violations with a penalty of $90,000; 25 serious violations with a penalty of $45,000; and three other-than-serious violations with a $1,000 penalty.

"These violations have the potential of leading to serious harm to the workers at Radio Casting Corp.," said Peist. "The company must take whatever steps necessary to eliminate these hazards immediately to ensure a safe and healthy workplace for their employees."

Alleged willful violations address the company's failure to provide free and unobstructed access to exits, failure to provide an effective hearing conservation program, and failure to ensure that employees are appropriately protected when working with molten metal.

The alleged serious violations include the company's practice of the open burning of debris within the production area of its facilities, the company's failure to have safe clearance in the aisle way used to transport molten metals, failure to provide easily accessible exit routes, failure to properly guard machinery, and failure to properly protect employees from lead exposure. The company also received three other-than-serious citations for its failure to provide employees with important safety and health information and for failure to maintain proper records.


Dow Chemical Company New Member of VPP 'Corporate Pilot' Family

 Dow's process safety management program and internal and external awareness of safety and health goals and results are particular areas of excellence. The company joins Georgia-Pacific, International Paper and the U.S. Postal Service to be formally admitted into the program.


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