HR Compliance Violations: OSHA Fines 3 Companies
Staying current on safety code is no small matter. In just the past 2 days the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) has issued $318,900 in fines for code violations.
Ware Milling Co. Inc. was cited for 30 safety and health violations after a worker was trapped in a cotton bin. The inspection was initiated in November 2011 when a worker became trapped and hung from a lanyard for a lengthy time, without proper preparation or equipment. The worker experienced leg numbness from the harness, and eventually fell 10 feet when the rope was cut. The company will be fined for 2 willful HR compliance violations and 24 serious violations, for a total of $157,500. Serious violations include failing to develop an emergency action plan, provide rescue equipment, select appropriate safety equipment, prevent combustible dust accumulation, guard pulleys and belts, properly guard stairways, protect open-sided platforms, and numerous others. The willful violations include failing to perform tag-out procedures for the energy source of the screw augur when workers are inside the bin and not having a stationed observer to provide emergency assistance. OSHA defines a willful violation as any violation that is committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to employee safety and health.
AWC Frac Valves was cited for 11 violations including multiple safety hazards and amputation dangers. Six of these violations were serious and 1 was willful, leading to $105,000 in fines. The serious HR compliance violations included not properly guarding pulleys, belts, and live electrical circuits, and failing to keep work surfaces clear of trash and debris. The willful violation was for failing to guard against employees coming in contact with moving machinery.
Bazzini Holdings LLC was cited for 15 instances of workplace safety and health violations. OSHA initiated the inspection of Bazzini in November 2011 after a worker’s arm was amputated and found 3 repeat violations as well as 8 serious violations. Because of the company’s violations, a worker lost his arm, and the company now faces $56,400 in fines.
Protect your employees and protect your business by staying ahead of HR compliance rules and regulations. Here’s what you can do:
1) Make sure you have an Injury & Illness Prevention Program in place (IIPP)
2) Ensure that employees are properly trained in the use of safety equipment
3) Protect pulleys, belts, and electrical areas
4) Keep work areas clean and free of trash or debris
5) Have railings on stairways and protect open-sided platforms
6) Keep up to date on OSHA regulations