Two New England Employers Cited for Injuries and Hazards

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Prolerized New England Co. LLC, doing business as Schnitzer Northeast, for 10 alleged serious violations of workplace safety standards at its Everett recycling facility, where two workers were injured. Proposed penalties total $70,000.
 
 
According to OSHA officials, the employees were performing maintenance work inside a large rotating drum used to sort scrap material for recycling when the drum activated, injuring them. OSHA's Andover Area Office conducted an inspection in response to the September incident and identified several serious deficiencies in the facility's hazardous energy control procedures, which should ensure machines are deactivated and their power sources locked out before employees perform maintenance work.(WCxKit)
 
 
In this case, the procedures were incomplete and not clearly communicated, training was inadequate, and the procedures were not reviewed to ensure that they were effective and understood by the employees.
 
 
The inspection also found that the employees were not trained to work in confined spaces, such as the drum, and were not provided a hot work permit for welding performed in the drum. Finally, the employees were exposed to the hazard of falling into the drum through an unguarded chute opening. OSHA assessed the maximum fine of $7,000 for each of the violations, for a total of $70,000 in fines. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
 
 
"The unexpected startup of machinery during maintenance can injure or kill workers in seconds," said Jeffrey Erskine, OSHA's area director for Essex and Middlesex counties. "Preventing this hazard requires a combination of effective hazard control procedures, training and diligence to ensure that the proper safeguards are in place, in use and understood by workers."(WCxKit)
 
 

The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, meet with OSHA's area director or contest the findings to the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

 

 

OSHA Fines Connecticut Employer for Exposing Workers to Injury 

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently cited G.A. Denison & Sons Inc. for 14 alleged willful and serious violations of workplace safety standards at an Old Lyme work site. The New London contractor faces a total of $110,000 in proposed fines, according to an OSHA report.
 
OSHA's enforcement action follows an inspection opened June 7, when Denison & Sons employees were observed being exposed to falls from heights of 15–26 feet while working without protection on both a scaffold and the roof of a building located at 69 Lyme St. (WCxKit)
 
 
In addition, OSHA found employees exposed to fall hazards while improperly climbing ladders and climbing ladders while carrying materials on their shoulders, as well as to head injuries from working without hard hats. These conditions resulted in citations for five willful violations carrying $73,700 in fines. A willful violation is one committed with intentional knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.
 
 
Nine serious violations, with $36,300 in fines, have been cited for several other hazardous conditions, including overloaded scaffolding, a lack of eye protection for employees using nail guns, inadequate scaffold access, a lack of protection against falling objects, and a failure to provide employees with fall protection, scaffold, and ladder training. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known. (WCxKit)
 
 
OSHA has placed G.A. Denison & Sons in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program, which mandates targeted follow-up inspections to ensure compliance with the law.
 
 
Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. He is an editor and contributor to Workers Compensation Management Program: Reduce Costs 20% to 50%. Contact: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.
 
 
 
 
 
 
WORKERS COMP MANAGEMENT GUIDEBOOK:  www.WCManual.com
 
WORK COMP CALCULATOR:  www.LowerWC.com/calculator.php
 
Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.
 
©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact us at: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

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