OSHA Cites American Airlines at O'Hare International Airport

July 30, 2007

OSHA has proposed $231,000 in fines against Dallas-based American Airlines Inc. for alleged multiple serious, repeat, and willful violations of federal workplace safety standards at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago.

OSHA selected American Airlines for inspection after reviewing the company's occupational injury and illness data. At O'Hare International Airport, agency officials inspected the airline's ramp services, cargo building, automotive shops, ticket and gate services, tower, two hangars, and baggage room.

As a result of the inspection, OSHA has issued one willful citation with a proposed penalty of $70,000, alleging that the company failed to protect all open-sided floors and work platforms from potential fall hazards.

The agency has issued citations for 15 serious violations with proposed penalties of $61,000 for a variety of concerns, including machine guarding, electrical issues, trip and fall hazards, blocked exits, and storage of oxygen and acetylene cylinders.

Six repeat violations, based on citations issued and affirmed in 2005, cover machine guarding issues, electrical and fire hazards, fall protection, review of lockout/tagout procedures, and hygiene issues. "Lockout/tagout" procedures protect employees from unexpected startup of machinery and equipment during service or maintenance activities. Proposed penalties for repeat violations total $100,000.

"Falls, electrical hazards, machine guarding and energy lockout issues are problems that should not exist at any worksite and can be avoided if an employer is dedicated to protecting employees," said Diane Turek, director of OSHA's Chicago North Area Office in Des Plaines, Ill. "Employers must remain dedicated to keeping the workplace safe and healthful or face close scrutiny by OSHA."

OSHA to Fine Manufactured Housing Builders $123,400 for 47 Violations

OSHA has proposed penalties totaling $123,400 against two companies in Vicksburg, Miss., for 47 serious safety violations. The department proposed penalties of $118,300 against Cappaert Manufactured Housing Inc. for 43 serious violations and $5,100 against C&D Builders Inc. for four serious violations.

Cappaert employs 170 people and designs and constructs manufactured housing and mobile homes. C&D Builders employs 12 people who install roofing and siding at the Cappaert facility.

Inspectors visited the manufacturing facility in January 2007 as part of OSHA's Site-Specific Targeting Program, which targets the nation's most hazardous workplaces for inspection based on their histories of having high numbers of injury and illness cases. Cappaert had been previously inspected three times since 1989 with each inspection resulting in citations being issued against the company.

"The large proposed penalty for Cappaert Manufactured Housing and the penalty for C&D Builders reflect the companies' inadequate safety program and numerous safety violations," said Clyde Payne, OSHA's Jackson area director. "It is important that all employers pursue safety proactively and not wait for OSHA inspectors to discover problems."

Cappaert safety violations included hazards associated with falls, mobile work platforms, compressed air, lockout/tagout, operation of powered industrial trucks, flammable and combustible substances, overhead monorail hoists, lifting devices and slings, machine guards, and welding and electrical.

C&D Builders' four serious violations involved hazards associated with falls, mobile work platforms, compressed air, and electrical.

New OSHA Guidance on Traffic Safety in Marine Terminals


"This new guidance will help employers design and implement a traffic safety program for vehicles and pedestrians. A traffic safety program should address marine terminal traffic hazards and meet OSHA's standards," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Edwin G. Foulke Jr. "Traffic safety is an important issue at marine terminals with their fast-paced operations and large, heavy equipment."

The guidance document was recommended by the Maritime Advisory Committee for Occupational Safety and Health in March 2004. It is not a standard or regulation and it carries no new legal obligations. Rather, it focuses on the factors that contribute to traffic related injuries and identifies measures to prevent them, such as safety checks, vehicle selection and maintenance, traffic controls, safe operation of vehicles, and safe driving techniques.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 15 fatalities in the marine cargo industry in 2005, eight of which were the result of transportation incidents.

Recent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission Decisions

Safety News Links