U.S. Department of Labor Cites Food Manufacturer and Staffing Agency After Employee’s Injury

January 30, 2018

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Marshall Ingredients LLC for failing to protect employees against amputations and other hazards at its Wolcott facility. The food ingredients manufacturer and distributor faces $300,062 in proposed penalties.

OSHA opened an inspection in July 2017 after a temporary employee suffered a hand amputation. The company was cited for willful and serious violations for failing to provide machine guarding to protect employees from contact with operating machinery; failing to develop procedures and provide training on how to prevent the unexpected startup of machinery; and exposing employees to fall, confined space, chemical, mechanical, electrical, and combustible dust hazards.  OSHA also cited the temporary staffing agency, People Ready, with two serious violations for lack of hazardous energy control and fire extinguisher training. Proposed penalties totaled $24,020.

“This incident could have been prevented had adequate machine guards been in place,” said OSHA Syracuse Area Office Director Christopher Adams. “Employers have a responsibility to implement and maintain safeguards to protect their employees from amputation hazards.”

The companies have 15 business days from receipt of their citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Full article available at: https://www.dol.gov/newsroom/releases/osha/osha20180125-0


U.S. Department of Labor Issues Citations and $69,058 in Penalties to Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company for Endangering Employees

January 30, 2018

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued seven serious citations against Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. for exposing its employees to burn, hazardous energy, amputation, and caught-in safety hazards. The company faces proposed penalties of $69,058.

OSHA investigators inspected Goodyear’s Social Circle facility in August 2017, and found that the company failed to provide effective personal protective equipment to employees exposed to burn hazards; did not provide procedures for controlling hazardous energy during equipment maintenance operations; and exposed employees to burns from heated tire treads, and caught-in hazards from unguarded machines.

“Our inspection found multiple safety deficiencies that put employees at risk of serious injury or death,” said OSHA Area Office Director William Fulcher, in Atlanta. “Potential workplace hazards must be assessed and eliminated to ensure employees are afforded a safe work environment.”

The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Full article available at: https://www.dol.gov/newsroom/releases/osha/osha20180124-0

U.S. Department of Labor Imposes Maximum Fines on Motion Picture Company for Failing to Adequately Protect from Fall Hazards

January 9, 2018

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Stalwart Films LLC for failing to protect employees from fall hazards while filming the television show, “The Walking Dead.”

OSHA issued a serious citation and proposed penalties totaling the maximum allowable fine of $12,675, for the company’s failure to provide adequate protection from fall hazards.  OSHA investigated Stalwart’s filming location in Senoia after a stuntman was fatally injured after falling more than 20 feet.

“This tragedy should serve as a wake-up call for the entertainment industry,” said OSHA Atlanta Regional Administrator Kurt Petermeyer. “The entire industry needs to commit to safety practices for actors and stunt people involved in this type of work.”

Full article available at: https://www.osha.gov/news/newsreleases/region4/01052018

Bowling Center Company Settles Whistleblower Allegations

January 2, 2018

A mechanic who alleged he was terminated after voicing concerns about unsafe working conditions at a bowling center in Lombard will receive a total of $40,000 in back wages as part of a consent judgment signed by the employer with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

“The settlement of this case represents a true win for an employee who was willing to risk his job to ensure workplace safety for himself and his co-workers,” said OSHA Chicago Region Administrator Kenneth Nishiyama Atha. “Commitment to workplace safety should be commended – not punished.”

The agreement between OSHA and Lucky Strike Entertainment LLC, resolves a lawsuit filed under the anti-retaliation provision of the Occupational Safety and Health Act. The lawsuit alleged the mechanic was terminated in June 2015 after filing complaints of unsafe working conditions with OSHA.

In addition to payment of back wages, Lucky Strike agreed to expunge the termination and all references to this action from the employee’s record, and to provide a neutral reference to prospective employers.

OSHA enforces the whistleblower provisions of 22 statutes protecting employees who report violations of various airline, commercial motor carrier, consumer product, environmental, financial reform, food safety, motor vehicle safety, health care reform, nuclear, pipeline, public transportation agency, railroad, maritime, and securities laws. Employers are prohibited from retaliating against employees who raise concerns or provide information to their employer or the government under any of these laws. Employees who believe they are retaliated against for engaging in protected conduct may file a complaint with OSHA’s Directorate of Whistleblower Protection Programs.

Full article available at: https://www.osha.gov/news/newsreleases/region5/12292017

Workplace Fatalities Spiked in 2016

December 26, 2017

Nearly 5,200 workers died from injuries on the job in 2016, a 7 percent increase over the previous year, according to a Bureau of Labor Statistics report.  The 2016 numbers mark the third consecutive increase in annual workplace deaths and the highest total since 2008, BLS said last week.

Work injuries involving transportation incidents remained the most common fatal event in 2016, accounting for 40 percent (2,083). Violence and other injuries by persons or animals increased 23 percent to become the second-most common fatal event in 2016. Two other events with large changes were exposure to harmful substances or environments, which rose 22 percent, and fires and explosions, which declined 27 percent.

Full article available at: https://www.bls.gov/news.release/cfoi.nr0.htm

Vinyl Floor Manufacturer Faces $514,236 in Penalties for Safety Violations

December 26, 2017

Nox US LLC, an Ohio manufacturer of luxury vinyl tile, faces $514,236 in proposed penalties after inspectors from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited the company for machine safety violations.

OSHA responded to two separate reports of employee injuries in June 2017. One employee required surgery after his hand was crushed in a tile machine. Less than two weeks later, another employee suffered partial amputations of two fingers while working on a recycle material system. OSHA cited the company for failing to use adequate lockout/tagout procedures and devices to prevent unintentional machine movement, failure to train employees, and exposing employees to fall hazards. The company has been placed in OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program.

“When dangerous machines are not properly guarded or de-energized, employees face an increased risk of serious injuries,” said OSHA Area Office Director Kim Nelson, in Toledo. “Employers must monitor their facilities continuously to ensure workplace safety and health procedures are adequate and effective.”

Full article available at: https://www.osha.gov/news/newsreleases/region5/12212017

U.S. Labor Department’s OSHA Accepting Electronically Submitted Injury, Illness Reports Through December 31

December 21, 2017

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will continue accepting 2016 OSHA Form 300A data through the Injury Tracking Application (ITA) until midnight on December 31, 2017. OSHA will not take enforcement action against those employers who submit their reports after the December 15, 2017, deadline but before December 31, 2017, final entry date. Starting January 1, 2018, the ITA will no longer accept the 2016 data.

Full article available at: https://www.osha.gov/injuryreporting/index.html