OSHA Fines

The Top 12 OSHA Fines of 2013

Date First Published on SafetySmart Compliance: January 14th, 2014
Topics: OSHA Inspections |






Dec. 2013




Nov. 2013




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(Click on the links to find out about the hazard and how to avoid being cited for it)

1. $1,330,000—Machine Guarding, LOTO

Who Got Fined: South Dakota radiator manufacturer

Why OSHA Inspected: Worker crushed to death in machine used to make radiator core.

Major Violations Cited: Employer settled the case agreeing to pay: $435,000 including for willful LOTO and machine guarding violations—OSHA claimed management gave workers permission to bypass the barrier guard and keep the machine running; $450,000 in criminal fines; and $450,000 to the victim’s spouse. Manufacturer also placed in OSHA Severe Violators Enforcement Program (SVEP).

[Adams Thermal Systems Inc., No. 13-1717-DAK, Reg. 8, Sept. 5, 2013]
2. $1,138,500—Fall Protection, Confined Spaces

Who Got Fined: Ohio steel plant which was already in the OSHA Severe Violators Enforcement Program (SVEP)

Why OSHA Inspected: Latest inspection triggered by safety complaints from the steelworkers’ union after 2 workers injured in falls

Major Violations Cited: 15(!) willful fall protection violations at melt shop, including 3 willfuls that OSHA had previously cited in 2011 and that the plant promised to repair in a settlement a year later, and 1 repeat for confined spaces (failing to post danger signs in front of permit required confined spaces). Company to remain in SVEP

[Republic Steel, No. 13-1608-CHI, Reg. 5, August 13, 2013].

3. $589,000—Machine Guarding

Who Got Fined: Colorado based metal container manufacturer for violations at Ohio plant

Why OSHA Inspected: Response to worker complaint at company with long history of machine guarding violations

Major Violations Cited: 7 willfuls for machine guarding, including failing to guard blades of slitter machines and nip points of feed tables; and 3 repeats—2 for machine guarding and the other for lack of fire extinguishers,. Company placed into SVEP (Severe Violators Enforcement Program).

[Ball Aerosol and Specialty Container Inc., No. 13-653-CHI, Reg.5, Apr. 15, 2013]
4. $465,400—Electrical

Who Got Fined: 3 New York general contractor and masonry and cement subcontractors for violations at Long Island construction site

Why OSHA Inspected: Not explained

Major Violations Cited: All 3 cited for willful electrical violations of allowing workers to perform crane operations near13,200 volt power lines that were both live and unguarded. The reason the violations were willful (and netted OSHA’s second biggest fine of 2013 to date) is that they kept the operations going even after getting a cease-and-desist notice from the local utility, the Long Island Power Authority.

[Vordonia Contracting & Supplies Corp./Alma Realty Corp.; MSI of Brooklyn; and North Eastern Precast LLC, No. 13-1024-NEW/BOS 2013-084, Reg.2, June 10, 2013

5. $460,350—Scaffolding, Fall Protection, PPE

Who Got Fined: Long Island, NY, painting and stucco contractor

Why OSHA Inspected: Follow-up to earlier inspection under local emphasis program targeting falls at construction sites

Major Violations Cited: $429,660 for 10 repeats, including no fall protection for workers on scaffolding, not having scaffolding inspected by competent person during erection, no safe means to access scaffold, failing to restrain scaffold against tipping, no head protection for workers exposed to falling objects from above; balance of fines for newly discovered serious fall protection and scaffolding violations. Contractor put into Severe Violators Enforcement Program (SVEP).

[Painting & Decorating Inc., No. 13-2318-NEW/BOS 2013-207, Reg. 2, Dec. 3, 2013]
6. $459,844—Lead, Fall Protection, Respiratory Protection

Who Got Fined: Pennsylvania painting contractor for violations at Harrisburg and 2 other bridge work sites

Why OSHA Inspected: Follow-up to previous inspections—OSHA had inspected company sites 5 times in the past 5 years, 4 of which had resulted in issuing of citations

Major Violations Cited: 14 willfuls for failing to protect workers from lead exposure and furnish adequate fall protection; and 11 repeats for lead exposure above the PEL, lack of warning signs, not making workers shower after shifts, not conduct medical evaluations and fit testing for   respirators and failure to keep proper OSHA 300 logs. Company placed into SVEP (Severe Violators Enforcement Program).

[Panthera Painting Inc., No. 13-138-PHI (osha 13-004), Reg.3, Jan. 30, 2013]
7. $448,000—Electrical

Who Got Fined: Houston based company that installs highway guardrails, crash attenutors, barriers and walls for violations at Wisconsin highway site

Why OSHA Inspected: Worker electrocuted when the equipment he was working with came in contact with overhead power lines

Major Violations Cited: 6 willfuls, including failing to ensure that parts of equipment being operated didn’t come within 10 feet of a power line and exposing workers to electrical shock and electrocution. Company placed into SVEP (Severe Violators Enforcement Program).

[Highway Technologies Inc., No. 13-307-CHI, Reg.5, Feb. 27, 2013]
8. $369,000—Machine Guarding, Electrical, Lead

Who Got Fined: Tennessee based engine parts manufacturer for violations at Ohio plant

Why OSHA Inspected: Follow-up to previous inspections

Major Violations Cited: 8 repeats, including lack of machine guarding, failing to ensure safe work practices for workers exposed to electrical hazards, improperly mounted fire extinguishers, and excessive exposure of workers to lead. Company placed into SVEP (Severe Violators Enforcement Program).

[Mahle Engine Components USA, No. 13-350-CHI, Reg.5, Mar. 5, 2013]
9. $336,200—Fall Protection, Trussing

Who Got Fined: Massachusetts wood framing contractor

Why OSHA Inspected: Worker breaks ribs and hurts his leg after a roof truss system collapsed around him—that very same day, OSHA received a complaint about safety at another one of the contractor’s sites

Major Violations Cited: 2 willful violations for not providing fall protection to workers above 10 feet; and 2 willful and 2 repeat violations for not adequately bracing wooden trusses.

OSHA places contractor in (SVEP).

[Twin Pines Const. Inc., No. 13-1865-BOS/BOS 13-144, Reg. 1, Sept. 16, 2013].

10. $325,700—Hazardous Waste Operations, PPE

Who Got Fined: Cincinnati waste treatment facility

Why OSHA Inspected: One worker killed and another suffers severe burns in explosion at plant. The explosion was apparently caused when an electrically powered reciprocating saw that workers received permission to use to remove metal end caps from an organic filter cartridge ignited sodium chlorate inside the filter cartridge.

Major Violations Cited: 4 willfuls, including failing to develop and implement hazardous waste handling procedures, provide new training to workers assigned to handle waste materials, select and ensure use of proper PPE, and train workers on its selection and use for protection from various materials that are part of their routine assignments. Company placed into SVEP (Severe Violators Enforcement Program).

[Environmental Enterprises Inc., No. 13-1206-CHI, Reg.5, June 20, 2013]
11. $317,000—Machine Guarding, LOTO

Who Got Fined: Illinois metal manufacturing plant

Why OSHA Inspected: 23-year-old work crushed to death by an automated laser-cutting machine. A bad situation for the plant got even worse when workers complained to inspectors during the investigation which prompted OSHA to do 2 more inspections of the plant

Major Violations Cited: 3 willfuls for LOTO  (not locking out the machine that crushed the worker) and  machine guarding (bypassing machine safeguards on laser-cutting machines and failure to properly set up press power press brake—OSHA discovered the latter violation during one of the extra inspections it did after the incident). Company placed into SVEP

[Hagel Metal Fabrication Inc., No. 13-1601-CHI, Reg. 5, August 22, 2013

12. $313,000—Building Demolition

Who Got Fined: Philadelphia demolition contractor

Why OSHA Inspected: During demolition of 4-story building, a wall collapses onto a Salvation Army store next to the site, killing 6 and injuring 14

Major Violations Cited: 5 willful violations of OSHA demolition construction standards for removing lateral structural supports for the wall 3 days before it collapsed, not having an engineering survey addressing the risk of a collapse before the work began and failing to demolish the building from the top down. OSHA also fined the contractor operating the building’s interior walls and floors $84,000.

[Campbell Construction, No. 13-2165-PHI, Reg. 3, Nov. 14, 2013]