OSHA has cited Provident Pharmaceuticals LLC in Colorado Springs a total of $251,500 in proposed penalties for alleged willful and serious violations of safety and health standards.
A comprehensive investigation of the company, which manufactures pharmaceutical tablets and syrups, began Aug. 16, 2006, after the company did not adequately address a complaint related to alleged employee exposure to air contaminants or an allegation that employees were covered in dust while performing work in the manufacturing area and when leaving the work area. Citations were issued for seven serious violations with a proposed penalty of $17,500, six willful violations with a proposed penalty of $234,000 and one other violation with no penalty.
"Employers must provide a safe and healthful working environment and ensure that all employees are protected from hazardous conditions," said John Healy, OSHA area office director in Englewood, Colo. "This employer is well aware of the standards that will protect employees from the hazards we found during our inspection, yet did not comply with them."
The alleged serious health violations include employee exposure to hazardous levels of methscopolamine nitrate (MSN), an inadequate respiratory protection program, a lack of eye/face protection, housekeeping and sanitation deficiencies, unguarded rotating shafts, confined space hazards, lockout/tagout violations, unguarded live electrical parts, lack of electrical cord strain relief, and a lack of a chemical hygiene plan.
The alleged willful safety violations address a fall hazard, lack of personal protective clothing, lack of forklift training, inadequate machine guarding, improper electrical receptacles used in wet or damp locations, and the lack of chemical hazard information training. The other alleged violation is for recordkeeping deficiencies.
OSHA and Utility Contractors for Safety Partner to Promote Workplace Safety
Enhanced workplace safety for employees is the goal of a new partnership between OSHA and the Utility Contractors for Safety in North Texas.
The primary goal of the partnership is to train hourly employees to become more aware of hazardous conditions, focusing on preventing electrocutions, falls, and injuries caused by being struck by or caught between objects. Key features include developing a comprehensive safety and health program and grouping hazardous industries together to voluntarily build safety and health awareness.
"This agreement provides an opportunity for the partners to come together and build on the value of safety and health for construction employees throughout the North Texas area," said Kathryn Delaney, OSHA's area director in Dallas. "We are confident the cooperative effort will help reduce injuries and fatalities."
Partnerships enable organizations committed to workplace safety and health to work cooperatively with OSHA. This partnership will be consistent with OSHA's long-range efforts to develop a business-government approach to safety and health management.
OSHA Establishes Local Emphasis Program to Reduce Amputations in Missouri, Kansas and Nebraska Workplaces
OSHA announced a local emphasis program aimed at reducing amputations at workplaces in Missouri, Kansas and Nebraska. The program applies to general industry workplaces where machinery and equipment likely to cause amputations are present.
The program will target OSHA's inspection resources on workplaces with machinery and equipment that cause, or are capable of causing, amputations and on workplaces where amputations have occurred. Workplaces where amputation injuries or fatalities related to machinery and equipment have occurred in the last five years will be subject to inspection. Establishments with ten or fewer employees are not included in the program.
"Operating machinery and equipment can be extremely dangerous, and compliance with OSHA's machine guarding and hazardous energy control standards needs to improve," said Charles E. Adkins, CIH, OSHA regional administrator in Kansas City.
"OSHA's inspection history indicates that employee exposures to unguarded or inadequately guarded machinery and equipment occur in many workplaces. An associated hazard is failure to prevent machinery from becoming energized during servicing and maintenance activities," Adkins said.
OSHA Cites Arapahoe Utilities & Infrastructure in Englewood for Alleged Safety Violations
OSHA has cited Arapahoe Utilities & Infrastructure Inc., Englewood, Colo., for unsafe working conditions following two accidents where employees were working in excavations at two construction sites in Denver. Proposed penalties total $145,000.
Citations issued against the company by OSHA's Denver area office allege two serious and two willful violations of OSHA standards. The willful citations, with proposed penalties of $140,000, were issued for failure to use required protective systems to prevent cave-ins while employees were working in an excavation. Additional penalties of $5,000 were proposed for lack of training involving fall hazards and failure to train employees on the avoidance of unsafe conditions.
One employee suffered a broken pelvis and another received bruises as a result of an excavation wall collapse during the installation of a wastewater pipe on Aug. 14, 2006. One week later on the same pipeline project, an employee's arm was broken after being struck by a 54-inch steel pipe that was being lowered into the excavation.
Excavation and trench hazards are so dangerous that OSHA has a National Emphasis Program on trenching that advises OSHA inspectors to stop and open an inspection whenever they see an unprotected trench.
OSHA Cites Safety Violations at Columbus Foam Insulation Manufacturing Plant, Proposing $155,000 in Penalties
OSHA has proposed $155,000 in fines against Insulfoam-Columbus in Columbus, Ohio, for alleged repeat, willful, and serious violations of federal workplace safety standards following the death of an employee in August 2006.
OSHA opened an inspection after receiving notification that an employee had died after being caught in and crushed by moving machinery that was not properly guarded. Two willful citations were issued alleging the company allowed the practice of by-passing interlock guards and failed to enforce lockout/tagout procedures. A serious violation alleged the lack of an annual lockout audit, and one repeat violation was issued for the lack of lockout/tagout training for employees.
"The tragedy of serious injuries and fatalities resulting from failing to prevent unintended movement of dangerous machinery is made worse by the fact that such hazards are entirely preventable," said Deborah Zubaty, OSHA area director in Columbus.
OSHA had conducted two previous inspections since May 2003 resulting in serious violations of OSHA standards covering lockout/tagout issues, machine guarding, powered industrial trucks and blood borne pathogen regulations.
Smoking Teeth = Poison Gas
The vapor is 1,000 times the atmospheric mercury limits imposed by the EPA.
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