OSHA Issues Citations for Two Pennsylvania Deaths

November 01, 2004

OSHA recently cited three Pennsylvania companies following investigations into two separate workplace deaths last summer.

The agency recommended $17,150 in fines against W.R. Meadows for five violations. OSHA alleges that company employees were not properly trained in certain areas regarding machines and that they failed to shut down machines before the machines were serviced.

OSHA also cited Caretti Inc. for three violations, resulting in proposed fines of $21,000. ECI Construction was cited for three violations with suggested fines totaling $21,000. OSHA's allegations against Caretti and ECI include failure to ensure that walking or working surfaces were safe and failure to provide adequate guardrails or other fall protection devices.

The companies have 15 working days to appeal the citations and fines. During that time, they can meet for a conference with OSHA officials to discuss the citations, contest the citations, or accept the citations as issued. OSHA officials noted that all companies involved have been cooperating with agency investigations.

Plastics Company Fined Following Explosion

OSHA imposed over $360,000 in fines on Formosa Plastics Corp. resulting from an agency investigation following an explosion which claimed the lives of five workers.

The agency noted serious safety violations at the Formosa Plastics' Illiopolis, IL, plant. According to the investigation, the company failed to repair defective equipment, did not maintain fire protection equipment, and performed inadequate testing of equipment used in hazardous chemical processing.

OSHA also noted that the company had problems regarding worker training, as well as in controlling flammable chemicals and possible sources of ignition. The agency probe did not cover the actual cause of the explosion, which is currently under investigation by another agency.

Chicago Food Producer Fined Over $172,000

Chicago food producer Appetizers And Inc. was recently subjected to $172,350 in proposed penalties following an inspection of workplace safety and health practices at the facility.

OSHA says that willful and serious violations of federal workplace safety and health regulations were discovered. The agency alleged serious workplace safety standards violations in the areas of electrical hazards, training issues, obstructed exit routes, machine guarding, and machine guarding.

Appetizers And Inc. has had three previous OSHA inspections which resulted in citations for violations, including personal protective equipment requirements, hazard communication standards, and lockout regulations. The company employs more than 600 workers in Chicago.

In fiscal year 2003, OSHA conducted almost 40,000 inspections, an increase of more than 2,000 inspections over FY 2002 levels; more than half focused on high-hazard industries.

Georgia-Pacific, Kansas City Packaging Gets VPP Star

The company has earned membership in OSHAÆs prestigious "Star" Voluntary Protection Program. A recognition ceremony was held October 21 at the company's Kansas City facility.

"Georgia-Pacific has exhibited excellence in effective safety and health management at its Kansas City facility," said Kansas City OSHA Regional Administrator Charles E. Adkins, CIH. "Their outstanding efforts have included significant employee training and involvement." The facility employs 125 workers who produce corrugated and solid fiber boxes. Companies that have been accepted into the Voluntary Protection Program represent more than 200 industries.

The VPP recognizes and promotes effective workplace safety and health management. Companies in the Voluntary Protection Program achieve average injury rates 50 percent lower than other companies in their industry. From coast to coast, approximately 1,100 work sites participate in the program.

Information kits about the VPP application and approval process are available from the VPP Manager at the OSHA regional office in Kansas City, Mo., at (816) 426 5861.

Yogi BearÆs Job is Safe

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK - (not Jellystone). OSHA recently recognized Yellowstone National Park for achievement in protecting employee safety and health. The park was designated a VPP "Merit" site in OSHA's Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) during a ceremony at the park's headquarters at Mammoth Hot Springs. A VPP Merit site meets the safety and health program elements that far exceed minimum OSHA standards. Yellowstone has achieved more than a 40 percent reduction in its accident rate since 1998.

"As the first national park in American history it is only fitting that Yellowstone is also the first national park to receive the prestigious VPP Merit award from OSHA," said John Henshaw, assistant secretary of labor for OSHA. "This award reflects a strong and continued commitment by Yellowstone and its employees to workplace safety and health."

Bob Glover, OSHA assistant regional administrator in Denver and Dave DiTommaso, OSHA area director in Billings, presented a VPP flag and plaque to Yellowstone National Park employees at the ceremony.

VPP offers employers a unique opportunity to move beyond traditional safety programs by recognizing participants that successfully incorporate comprehensive safety and health programs into their total management systems. About 1,100 workplaces throughout the U.S. have achieved VPP status.

Workplaces that apply for the VPP must demonstrate a high degree of management support and employee involvement in health and safety; a high-quality hazard analysis, prevention and control programs; and comprehensive safety and health training for all employees. Each element must be effective, in place and in operation for at least one year before applying to join the program.

For additional information about the VPP in the Rocky Mountain Region contact Brad Baptiste, OSHA VPP manager, at (303) 844-1600 (ext 317) in Denver.

The National Advisory Committee on Ergonomics to Meet in November

NACE is part of OSHAÆs comprehensive approach for reducing ergonomics-related injuries and illnesses in the workplace. The Committee workgroups will meet on Tuesday, November 16, 2004, from 1 p.m. until approximately 5 p.m. The full Committee will meet on Wednesday, November 17, 2004, from 8:30 a.m. until approximately 5 p.m.

Committee and workgroups will meet at the Holiday Inn on the Hill, 415 New Jersey Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20001; Telephone: (202) 638-1616. Submit comments, views, or statements in response to this notice to MaryAnn Garrahan, Director, Office of Technical Programs and Coordination Activities, OSHA, Room N-3655, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210. Phone: (202) 693-2144; Fax: (202) 693-1644.