OSHA Cites Employer For Failing to Follow Safety Procedures

It took one worker losing fingers to get the company hit with a stiff fine from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

 

According to an OSHA report, Lieze Associates, doing business as Eagle Recycling of New Jersey, was saddled with one repeat and three serious safety violations after a worker’s fingers were amputated in December 2012 at the company’s North Bergen recycling transfer station. OSHA’s investigation came in response to a referral by the North Bergen Police Department and has resulted in proposed fines of $70,070.

 

“This incident should have been prevented by simply locking out the machine’s power source,” commented Kris Hoffman, director of OSHA’s Parsippany Area Office. “Eagle Recycling of New Jersey’s continued disregard for complying with OSHA safety standards will not be tolerated.”

 

 

Employer Failed to Follow Safety Procedures

 

As the investigation unfolded, OSHA inspectors discovered that procedures were not put in place that day to lock out the energy source of a conveyor belt system while the worker was clearing a cardboard jam, which resulted in the amputation.

 

OSHA cited the employer with a serious violation for failing to implement a lockout/tagout program to control potentially hazardous energy. Another violation includes failing to ensure a ladder placed with the two top rails was supported and placed with secure footing. 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.

 

 

Company Given 15 Business Days to Comply

 

The repeat violation was cited for exposing workers to 8-foot fall hazards while working on unguarded platforms. A repeat violation is handed down when an employer previously has been cited for the same or similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. A similar violation was cited in 2009 and 2010.

 

The company was given 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, ask for an informal conference with OSHA’s area director in Parsippany, or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

 


Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker, attorney, or qualified professional about workers comp issues.

WorkSafeBC Imposes Nearly $3 Million In OSHA & Workers Comp Penalties

In an effort to let British Columbia (Canada) employers know that officials were watching them, WorkSafeBC reported recently that it imposed 260 penalties, totaling $2.9 million against employers for violations of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation and theWorkers Compensation Act.
 
The highest single penalty in 2012 was imposed against Francesco Aquilini & Roberto Aquilini & Elisa Aquilini et al., for failing to maintain in safe operating condition, the farm vehicle the employer used to transport farm workers. This was a repeated violation and the firm was fined $125,277.
 
The second and third highest penalties of $105,000 each were imposed against Skylite Building Maintenance Ltd., for chronic repeated violations of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation and Workers Compensation Act, for exposing workers to asbestos. In 2012, three penalties were imposed on Skylite totalling $227,500.
 
 
WorkSafeBC Increases Enforcement Capacity
 
In recent years, officials have seen to it that WorkSafeBC increase its enforcement capacity, directing a more intensive focus to the industries that present the highest risk to workers and to employers where compliance is known to be an issue — such as steep slope roofing and asbestos abatement.
 
"Penalties are imposed to motivate employers to comply with health and safety laws," commented Al Johnson, vice president Prevention Services.
"While WorkSafeBC works with employers to ensure they understand their legal responsibilities to provide safe and healthy workplaces — our officers will impose a penalty or pursue court processes against employers who repeatedly fail to comply with the law."
 
With eyes watching, the message for employers is that shortcuts on workplace safety will not be tolerated.
 
By the Numbers:
  • The total penalties issued in 2012 were against 225 individual employers.
  • A total of six incidents in which an employer was penalized involved a fatality.
  • Employers from the construction sector accounted for almost 85% of penalties. Most of these penalties were related to inadequate use of fall protection (59%) and exposing workers to asbestos (14%).
  • Penalty amounts vary year over year due to the size of employers penalized (employers with larger payrolls are assessed higher penalties) and the seriousness of the violations.
  • The maximum penalty amount permissible under the Workers Compensation Act is adjusted yearly — in 2012 it was $596,435.35.

 

Author Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher.  www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com.  Contact: mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.
 
©2013 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law.

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker, attorney, or qualified professional about workers comp issues.

Employer Lucky Poor Safety Did Not Lead to Employee Death

 

13 Safety and Health Violations, 11 Are Serious
 
The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently cited Lapmaster Precision Finishing Services LLC in Dayton with 13 safety and health violations. Proposed fines total $65,500 following an inspection that OSHA initiated upon receiving a complaint alleging hazards.
 
"Lapmaster Precision Finishing Services is compromising its workers by failing to evaluate their exposure to and correct hazardous conditions," said Bill Wilkerson, OSHA's area director in Cincinnati. "Training workers is vital to their long-term safety and health. OSHA is committed to protecting workers."
 
Eleven serious violations include failing to develop energy control and hazard communication programs, train employees on the programs' requirements, provide machine guarding on belts and grinding machines, lock out the energy sources of machinery prior to servicing, require the use of safety glasses, ensure that workers are not exposed to live electrical parts, provide workers with personal protective equipment and training to minimize electrical exposure, train and certify employees who operate powered industrial vehicles, and properly store materials that can cause "struck-by" hazards.
 
 
Serious Violation Carries Substantial Probability of Death
 
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.
 
Two other-than-serious violations involve a failure to maintain injury and illness forms and a lack of written certification of a hazard assessment. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.
 
Lapmaster Precision Finishing Services is a part of Mt. Prospect, Ill.-based Lapmaster International LLC. About 48 workers are employed at the Dayton facility, which processes cast iron, steel and several metal alloys as well as plastics, Teflon, ceramics and composite materials to finish tolerances for automotive and other manufacturing applications.
 
 
Company Has 15 Business Days to Comply
 
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.
 
 
Author Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher.  www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com
 
©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law.

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker, attorney, or qualified professional about workers comp issues.

Top 10 Most Cited OSHA Standards

 

OSHA Not Always a Welcomed Guest

 

Most risk managers and safety managers, even those with excellent safety records, often dread to hear that Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is coming to visit their facility (or even worse, OSHA has made an unannounced facility inspection).  The risk managers and safety managers know that even with their best efforts to maintain a safe workplace, employees can, usually unintentionally, act in a manner that creates a safety risk and results in an OSHA citation.

 

OSHA’s purpose is not to issue citations and fines, but to assist employers in maintaining a safe work place. Since the creation of OSHA in 1970, the number of severe injuries, and the total number of injuries, has been on a slow but continuous decline.  This has resulted in a reduction in the total number of workers’ compensation claims and a reduction in the cost of workers’ compensation claims.

 

 

OSHA Regulations Apply to All Private Sector Workers

 

OSHA regulations apply to all private sector workers in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the Virgin Islands.  The only people who are not subject to OSHA regulations are the self-employed and family members of farm employers who do not have any non-family employees. While most federal government employees are subject to OSHA requirements, employees of the Federal Aviation Administration, Coast Guard, and Mine Safety and Health Administration are exempt from OSHA requirements.

 

 

10 Most Frequently Cited Standards

 

Each year, in an effort to assist employers to identify the areas where they are most likely to be cited for violation of a safety standard, OSHA publishes a list of the Top 10 Most Frequently Cited Standards.  For the fiscal year 2012, which ended on 9-30-12, the 10 most cited standards were:

 

 

Work Place ViolationOSHA Regulation / Standard NumberCited Violations of Standard2011 Rank
Fall Protection1926.5017,2502
Hazard Communication1910.12004,6963
Scaffolding1926.4513,8141
Respiratory Protection1910.1342,3714
Ladders1926.10532,3108
Machine Guarding1910.2122,09710
Powered Industrial Trucks1910.1781,9937
Electrical – Wiring Methods1910.3051,7446
Lockout/Tagout1910.1471,5725
Electrical – General Requirements1910.3031,3329

 

 

 

As shown above, while the ranking and the number of violations of each OSHA standard changed from 2011 to 2012, each of the top 10 cited violations of OSHA standards in 2012 were also ranked in the top 10 standard violations and citations in 2011.

 

 

Identify Your Possible Exposures

 

We provide this list of the most common violations of OSHA standards to assist you in the recognition of areas where your company could be cited.  We would recommend that you take the top 10 citation list and select all of the categories where your company could have an exposure.  Once you have identified the areas of possible exposures to an OSHA citation, review and study in depth the OSHA standard that applies.  The published OSHA Standards can be found at:    http://www.osha.gov/law-regs.html

 

Even if you learn and understand all the OSHA standards listed in the top 10 most cited violations, and eliminate all exposures to OSHA citations from the top 10, you are still subject to an OSHA citation if you are in violation of any of their published standards, including the ambiguous General Duty Clause of the OSHA act.  The General Duty Clause states you will keep the workplace free of hazardous conditions not covered in the published OSHA standards.

 

Not only does OSHA set and enforce workplace safety and health standards, OSHA will provide assistance and training to employers when requested.  You can review the courses, materials and resources available to your company to prevent injuries (workers’ compensation claims) at:  http://www.osha.gov/dte/index.html

 

 

Author Rebecca Shafer, JD, President of Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is a national expert in the field of workers compensation. She is a writer, speaker, and publisher. Her expertise is working with employers to reduce workers compensation costs, and her clients include airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality, and manufacturing. She is the author of the #1 selling book on cost containment, Workers Compensation Management Program: Reduce Costs 20% to 50%. Contact: RShafer@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

 

Editor Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher. www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com. Contact: mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.

 

©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law.

 


Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker, attorney, or qualified professional about workers comp issues.

Employer Fined After Terminating Employee One Day After Health Complaint

Employee Wrongfully Terminated For Raising Health Concerns

 

The U.S. Department of Labor recently won a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida against LOTO Services LLC and owner Allan R. Lochhead.

 

Based on an investigation by its Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the department sued the defendants, alleging that they unlawfully and intentionally terminated an employee of Aquatech Technologies Inc. for raising health concerns about rodent infestations at Aquatech’s facility in Stuart, Fla. LOTO Services LLC owns Aquatech Technologies, which does business as Aquatech Canvas & Consignment.

 

 

Ordered to Pay $34,186 Penalty

 

Judge K. Michael Moore permanently enjoined the defendants from violating the provisions of Section 11(c) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, which prohibits retaliation against employees for raising workplace safety and health concerns. The judge further ordered that the former employee be paid a total of $34,186, comprising $27,072 in back wages, $6,700 in expenses and $414 in interest. The Labor Department was represented in court by its Regional Office of the Solicitor in Atlanta.

 

“OSHA will continue to ensure that every American worker has the right to report workplace hazards without fear of retaliation,” said Cindy Coe, OSHA’s regional administrator in Atlanta. “This judgment is proof that the Labor Department will prosecute, to the fullest extent of the law, employers found violating these basic worker rights.”

 

 

Employee Terminated One Day After Filing Health Complaint

 

The employee had reported concerns to management regarding rodents and rodent droppings in the office, and requested to have these problems corrected. Lochhead placed rodent traps in the office, but the problem continued. The employee complained again, but Lochhead indicated that there was no rodent problem, so the employee filed a health complaint with OSHA. One day after OSHA officials notified the company of the health complaint, the employee was terminated. The employee then submitted a whistleblower complaint, and OSHA’s resulting investigation found merit to it.

 

OSHA enforces the whistleblower provisions of the OSH Act and 21 other statutes protecting employees who report violations of various commercial motor vehicle, airline, nuclear, pipeline, environmental, railroad, public transportation, maritime, consumer product, health care reform, securities, food safety, motor vehicle safety and consumer financial reform regulations.

 

Author Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher. www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com. Contact: mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.

 

©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law.

 


Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker, attorney, or qualified professional about workers comp issues.

OSHA Settles With Manufacturing Company on Serious Safety Improvements

Company to Increase Fire Protection

 

The U.S. Department of Labor reports it recently reached a settlement agreement with Mohawk Industries Inc., a carpet manufacturer based in Calhoun, Ga., under which the company will increase fire protection at its four carpet pad facilities.

 

The agreement resolves citations issued by the department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration in June 2011 for violations found at the company’s manufacturing facility in Johnstown.

 

 

Mohawk Industries to Make Investment in Health & Safety

 

“Mohawk Industries has agreed to make an investment in the health and safety of its workers by increasing fire protection at its carpet pad manufacturing facilities. Companies that put the health and safety of workers first should be recognized for their investments in human capital, our nation’s most precious resource,” said Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health. “OSHA has been committed to the health and safety of workers for 41 years.”

 

In addition to Johnstown, Mohawk’s “rebond” facilities are located in Commerce, Texas; Torrington, Conn.; and Tifton, Ga. The facilities manufacture carpet pads by grinding, mixing and re-bonding recycled polymer foam materials, a process that can involve explosion hazards.

 

 

OSHA Investigation Found 4 Serious Violations

 

Following its investigation, OSHA cited the company with four serious violations involving dust, unguarded floors and electrical hazards. Two other-than-serious violations relate to inadequate hazard communications. The agreement amends the citation and requires the company to abate the alleged fire hazards found at the Johnstown facility. Mohawk has agreed to solicit the services of a licensed professional fire protection engineer to assess potential fire and/or explosion hazards that may be generated during the handling and processing of polymer foam materials, as well as to implement that professional’s recommendations.

 

The company also will develop procedures for and schedule the periodic cleanup and removal of polymer foam dust from any surfaces where it might accumulate, provide combustible dust training for all affected employees, conduct monthly inspections of the facilities’ fire suppression sprinkler systems and provide training on emergency evacuation to employees.

 

Mohawk Industries employs more than 25,000 workers globally.

 

Author Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher. www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com. Contact: mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.

 

©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law.

 


Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker, attorney, or qualified professional about workers comp issues.

Our Navy Should Not Be in More Danger At Home Than Overseas

OSHA Sites Workers Being Exposed to Extremely Toxic Materials

 
The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently issued notices to the Fleet Readiness Center Southwest regarding violations of workplace health and safety standards at its facility in Coronado, outside San Diego, that exposed workers to extremely toxic materials such as lead, cadmium and beryllium.
 
Fleet Readiness Center Southwest is an agency of the U.S. Navy and has a workforce of about 10,000 employees nationwide. The Coronado aircraft maintenance facility employs approximately 500 workers.
 
 
Federal Agencies Must Comply with Same Safety Standards, Can’t Be Fined
 
As required by the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, federal agencies must comply with the same health and safety standards as private sector employers. The federal agency equivalent of a private sector citation is the notice of an unhealthful or unsafe working condition, which informs agency officials of violations. OSHA cannot propose monetary penalties against another federal agency for failure to comply with its standards.
 
"Exposing workers to metals such as lead, cadmium and beryllium can result in serious illness and even fatal respiratory disease," said Jay Vicory, director of OSHA's San Diego Area Office. "We are encouraged by the Department of the Navy's response to OSHA's intervention, and we are working cooperatively with that department to further mitigate the hazards uncovered."
 
 
Food & Beverages Contaminated by Toxic Materials
 
Two alleged willful violations involve allowing workers to store and consume food and beverages in areas contaminated by toxic materials such as lead, cadmium and beryllium; hazards associated with the accumulation of cadmium in the workplace; and hazards associated with dry sweeping, which may be used only when vacuuming or other methods to minimize the likelihood of cadmium dust becoming airborne have been tried and are not effective. 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.
 
Two alleged serious violations involve the accumulation of lead dusts throughout the workplace, the use of dry sweeping to clean work areas where lead was found, and a failure to implement a program for beryllium hazard prevention and control. 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.
 
 
Inspected 3 times in 2011, 21 Serious Violations
 
The facility was inspected by OSHA three times in 2011, resulting in notices for 21 serious violations, including two related to the accumulation of cadmium.
 
Fleet Readiness Center Southwest has 15 business days from receipt of the latest notices to comply or request an informal conference with OSHA's area director in San Diego.
 
 

Author Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher.  www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com Contact mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com

 

 


WORKERS COMP MANAGEMENT MANUAL:  www.WCManual.com

VIEW SAMPLES PAGES

MODIFIED DUTY CALCULATOR:  www.LowerWC.com/transitional-duty-cost-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.

13 Employees Die Every Day at Work, OSHA Can Be Your Partner in Prevention

 

What Is OSHA and What Do They Do?
 
Mention of the word “OSHA” around employers usually makes them cringe with discomfort.  But really what is OSHA and what do they do?  How can they help employers instead of just fining and disciplining them?
 
The answer to this comes in many forms, but let’s take a look at some general OSHA stats.  Usually when OSHA is called, someone is whistle-blowing on their employer for safety reasons.  Another common reason is that OSHA is called to investigate a serious injury or fatality on the job—which is any employer or insurance company’s worst nightmare. 
 
The following statistics were taken from the OSHA website http://www.osha.gov/oshstats/commonstats.html
 
“OSHA is a small agency; with our state partners we have approximately 2,200 inspectors responsible for the health and safety of 130 million workers, employed at more than 8 million worksites around the nation — which translates to about one compliance officer for every 59,000 workers.”[WCx]
 
 
Worker Injuries, Illnesses and fatalities
 
4,690 workers were killed on the job in 2010 [BLS revised 2010 workplace fatality data*] (3.6 per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers) — more than 90 a week or nearly 13 deaths every day. (This is a slight increase from the 4,551, fatal work injuries in 2009, but the second lowest annual total since the fatal injury census was first conducted in 1992).
 
"Every day in America, 13 people go to work and never come home. Every year in America, nearly 4 million people suffer a workplace injury from which some may never recover. These are preventable tragedies that disable our workers, devastate our families, and damage our economy. American workers are not looking for a handout or a free lunch. They are looking for a good day's pay for a hard day's work. They just want to go to work, provide for their families, and get home in one piece."
– Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, Workers Memorial Day speech April 26, 2012
 
 
Construction's "Fatal Four"
 
Out of 4,206* worker fatalities in private industry in calendar year 2010, 774 or 18.7% were in construction. The leading causes of worker deaths on construction sites were falls, followed by electrocution, struck by object, and caught-in/between. These "Fatal Four" were responsible for nearly three out of five (56%) construction worker deaths in 2010*, Bureau of Labor Statistics reports. Eliminating the Fatal Four would save 437 workers' lives in America every year.
 
  • Falls – 264 out of 774 total deaths in construction in CY 2010 (34%)
  • Electrocutions – 76 (10%)
  • Struck by Object – 64 (8%)
  • Caught-in/between – 33 (4%)
 
 
Top 10 most frequently cited OSHA standards violated in FY2011
 
  • Scaffolding, general requirements, construction (29 CFR 1926.451)
  • Fall protection, construction (29 CFR 1926.501)
  • Hazard communication standard, general industry (29 CFR 1910.1200)
  • Respiratory protection, general industry (29 CFR 1910.134)
  • Control of hazardous energy (lockout/tagout), general industry (29 CFR 1910.147)
  • Electrical, wiring methods, components and equipment, general industry (29 CFR 1910.305)
  • Powered industrial trucks, general industry (29 CFR 1910.178)
  • Ladders, construction (29 CFR 1926.1053)
  • Electrical systems design, general requirements, general industry (29 CFR 1910.303)
  • Machine guarding (machines, general requirements, general industry) (29 CFR 1910.212) [WCx]
 
 
OSHA is Making a Difference
 
In four decades, OSHA and our state partners, coupled with the efforts of employers, safety and health professionals, unions and advocates, have had a dramatic effect on workplace safety.
 
  • Worker deaths in America are down — from about 38 worker deaths a day in 1970 to 13 a day in 2010
  • Worker injuries and illnesses are down — from 10.9 incidents per 100 workers in 1972 to fewer than 4 per 100 in 2010.
 
 
Summary
 
The “Fatal Four” injuries within the realm of construction can be hard to avoid.  Falls and electrocutions can happen.  But being struck by objects and being caught in/between things can be lessened with proper training and overall increased alertness within your workforce on the jobsite.  All injuries cannot be prevented, but these stats can be an eye opener for any employer that does construction-type work. 
 
The mere fact that on any given day, 13 workers leave the house for work and never come home due to a fatality incident is a scary statistic.  Fatality claims are an adjuster’s worst nightmare.  There are a ton of issues, and none of them are pleasant.  Every worker out there doesn’t think it will happen to them, but it happens 13 times every day.
 
Safety is a team effort, and every employee has to do their part. Share these points with your staff at your next meeting, and be proactive in ways to lessen risk on the jobsite.  By implementing more safety awareness, you could very well be saving the life of one of your employees. 
 
 
 

Author Rebecca Shafer, JD, President of Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is a national expert in the field of workers compensation. She is a writer, speaker, and publisher. Her expertise is working with employers to reduce workers compensation costs, and her clients include airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality, and manufacturing. She is the author of the #1 selling book on cost containment, Workers Compensation Management Program: Reduce Costs 20% to 50%. Contact: RShafer@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

 

Editor Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher.  www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com Contact mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com

 


WORKERS COMP MANAGEMENT MANUAL:  www.WCManual.com

VIEW SAMPLES PAGES

MODIFIED DUTY CALCULATOR:  www.LowerWC.com/transitional-duty-cost-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.

OSHA Cites Employer, Were Foreign Students Put at Risk

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports it has cited Exel Inc. for nine, including six willful, workplace safety and health violations at the Eastern Distribution Center III, a facility in Palmyra owned by the Hershey Co. and operated by Exel. Proposed penalties total $283,000. OSHA also has cited the SHS Group LP, doing business as SHS Staffing Solutions, for one violation with a proposed penalty of $5,000.

 

The agency's inspection was conducted in response to a complaint filed by the National Guestworker Alliance on behalf of a group of foreign students who were performing summer jobs at the Palmyra facility under the U.S. Department of State's J-1 visa program. Their visas were sponsored by the nonprofit organization Council for Educational Travel-USA. The complaint alleges a number of abuses of the visa program, which is designed to promote cultural exchange, as well as exploitative and unsafe conditions in the workplace.

 

Under a contract with Exel, SHS Staffing Solutions hired the students to work at the Palmyra site repackaging Hershey candies for promotional displays. Exel is a contract logistics provider headquartered in Westerville, Ohio, with more than 40,000 employees at more than 500 sites in North America.

 

Exel was responsible for record keeping in the Palmyra facility. OSHA has cited the six willful violations with penalties totaling $280,000 for failing to record injuries and illnesses on the OSHA 300 log for four years, evaluate the accuracy of the 300 logs before certifying them for three years, and develop and implement an effective hearing conservation program. A willful violation is one committed with intentional knowledge or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.

 

"Nothing useful can be learned from an unrecorded injury," said OSHA Assistant Secretary Dr. David Michaels. "Accurate records provide critical information to employers and employees about the cause and prevention of work-related injuries. The law requires employers to maintain complete and accurate records because, without these, it is more difficult to prevent additional injuries and illnesses from occurring."

 

SHS Staffing Solutions, a temporary staffing provider headquartered in Lemoyne, has been cited with one serious violation for failing to provide training to employees on the lockout/tagout of energy sources. 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.

 

Exel also has been cited for three other-than-serious violations carrying a $3,000 penalty related to inadequate record keeping. An other-than-serious violation is one that probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.

 

Additionally, the Labor Department's Wage and Hour Division is investigating potential violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act relating to the work performed by the CETUSA-sponsored foreign students. Because CETUSA has withheld documents from investigators, the secretary of labor filed a petition to enforce an administrative subpoena against CETUSA in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania in order to complete this investigation.

 

 
 
On Feb. 7, Judge William Caldwell ordered CETUSA to file a response within two weeks to explain to the court why the documents have not been produced. CETUSA has filed a response pursuant to the court's order, and further proceedings before Caldwell are anticipated.
 

 

 

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 MANUAL:  www.WCManual.com

VIEW SAMPLES PAGES

MODIFIED DUTY CALCULATOR:  www.LowerWC.com/transitional-duty-cost-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.

New Hampshire Employer Cited for Endangering Workers

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports it recently cited Monster Contracting LLC for alleged willful and serious violations of safety standards at a residential construction site located at 100 Bradley St. in Manchester, New Hampshire. The Candia-based framing contractor faces a total of $59,200 in proposed fines following an inspection by OSHA's Concord Area Office.

 
 
 
"Employees at this job site faced the risk of disabling or deadly injuries from falls, crushing injuries, or being struck by flying debris or objects while operating nail guns and other tools," said Rosemarie Ohar, OSHA's area director for New Hampshire. "Compounding the situation was the fact that these employees lacked training that would have taught them how to recognize and avoid such hazards." [WCx]
 
 

OSHA found employees exposed to falls from heights of 6 to 20 feet while performing exterior and interior framing work without fall protection or near an unguarded window, floor and stairwell openings, which resulted in a citation for one willful violation with a $28,000 fine. 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 $31,200 in fines include a lack of eye protection for employees working with nail guns, power tools and staplers; damaged and misused ladders; a damaged sling used to lift walls; the employer's failure to certify that powered industrial truck operators had been trained; unsafe access to elevated areas of the building; lumber with protruding nails in a work area; not training employees to recognize fall, material handling, electrical and flying object hazards; and not training employees in the safe operation of power tools and the proper use of ladders.

 
 
 
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. [WCx]
 
 

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 before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. 

 

 

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 MANUAL:  www.WCManual.com

VIEW SAMPLES PAGES

MODIFIED DUTY CALCULATOR:  www.LowerWC.com/transitional-duty-cost-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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