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Does OSHA Cite Employers Equally? (May/Jun-19)
Are You Ready For The New Year? (Mar/Apr-19)
Creating a Safety Culture Means Staying Informed (Nov/Dec-18)
Safe Lifting Techniques (Sep/Oct-18)
Are Your Machines Safe to Operate? (Jul/Aug-18)
Have You Recently Conducted Your Required Safety & Health Program Audits? (May/Jun-18)
Do You Know How Old Your Tires Really Are? (Jan/Feb-18)
Risk Assessment & Premise Liability Insurance (Nov/Dec-17)
Forklift Safety – You Can Save A Life Today (Sep/Oct-17)
Protect Your Employees from Heat Stress Related Injuries (Jul/Aug-17)
Lockout-Tagout from a Manager’s Perspective (May/Jun-17)
Do Your Employees Really Know How to Use Personal Protective Equipment? (Mar/Apr-17)
OSHA & Lockout/Tagout (Nov/Dec-16)
OSHA Increases Their Penalties Towards Employers (Jul/Aug-16)
Do You Know What Your Experience Modification Rate Is? (May/Jun-16)
Machine Safety (Sep/Oct-15)
Lockout, Tagout & Tryout – Are You in Compliance? (Jul/Aug-15)
Forklift Safety Practices (May/Jun-15)
Using the Right Power Saw to Cut Plastic Materials (Mar/Apr-15)
OSHA & Machine Safeguarding (Jan/Feb-15)
Ergonomics (Sep/Oct-14)
Respiratory Protection . . . Does Your Program Protect? (May/Jun-14)
First Aid Program (Mar/Apr-14)
Working with Composite Materials Safely and Preventing Dermatitis (Jan/Feb-14)
Preventing Winter Slips, Trips and Falls (Nov/Dec-13)
The Globally Harmonized System for Hazard Communication – Are You Ready For It? (Sep/Oct-13)
Safety & New Employee Orientation (Jul/Aug-13)
Liquefied Petroleum Gas Safety (May/Jun-13)
Posting of OSHA Notices (Jan/Feb-13)
Staying Safe This Winter (Nov/Dec-12)
Personal Protection - Storage, Maintenance and Care (Sep/Oct-12)
Machine Safeguarding (Jul/Aug-12)
Is Your Lockout & Tagout Program Working? (May/Jun-12)
Getting Familiar with OSHA (Mar/Apr-12)
Is Your Piping Systems Properly Marked? (Jan/Feb-12)
Accident Prevention, Does Your Company Have An Effective Program? (Nov/Dec-11)
Defining FR – Flame Resistant Fabrics (Jul/Aug-11)
OSHA's Flammable & Combustible Liquids (May/Jun-11)
Safety & Health Program Check-up (Jan/Feb-11)
OSHA Is My Friend (Nov/Dec-10)
OSHA Standard for Control of Hazardous Energy Sources? (Sep/Oct-10)
Lockout/Tagout Program (Jul/Aug-10)
Safe Handling of Compressed Gas Cylinders (May/Jun-10)
What You Should Know about OSHA and Plastic Working Machinery (Mar/Apr-10)
Fasten Those Forklift Seat Belts (Jan/Feb-10)
My Back Hurts (Nov/Dec-09)
Fall Protection Program (Sep/Oct-09)
Accident Prevention & Investigation (Jul/Aug-09)
OSHA & Machine Safeguarding (May/Jun-09)
Carbon Monoxide Hazards (Mar/Apr-09)
OSHA Electrical Safety and Training (Jan/Feb-09)
Free Forklift ANSI Standards (Nov/Dec-08)
Worksite Fire Emergencies (Sep/Oct-08)
Machine Safety (Jul/Aug-08)
Ladder Safety (May/Jun-08)
Is Your Company on OSHA's Hit List?
OSHA Notifies Workplaces with High Injury and Illness Rates (Mar/Apr-08)
Safety Means . . . Never Having to Say You're Sorry (Jan/Feb-08)
Flammables and Combustible Liquids (Nov/Dec-07)
Designing-In Safety NOT Retrofitting Safety (Sep/Oct-07)
Back Safety and Lifting (Jul/Aug-07)
Machine Guarding (May/Jun-07)
Your Hearing Keep it for a Lifetime (Mar/Apr-07)
Light Up the Holidays the Safe Way (Nov/Dec-06)
Would You Risk Your Employee's Life? (Sep/Oct-06)
How to Control Workers' Compensation Costs (Jul/Aug-06)
Compliance with 70E Electrical Standards (May/Jun-06)
OSHA Is on the Move (Mar/Apr-06)
Workplace Violence (Jan/Feb-06)
The Aging Workforce (Nov/Dec-05)
The Safety Paradox (Sep/Oct-05)
Machine Guarding (Jul/Aug-05)
Effective Risk Management (May/Jun-05)
Safety Is Everyone's Business (Mar/Apr-05)
New Year's Resolution Safety (Jan/Feb-05)
Safe Driving (Nov/Dec-04)
Terror In The Skies Revisited (Sep/Oct-04)
How They Got Hurt (Jul/Aug-04)
In-Plant Air Monitoring & Analysis (May/Jun-04)
Safety on the Job and Complying with the Americans With Disabilities Act (Mar/Apr-04)
Link to Article Archive (Jan/Feb-04)
A Supervisor's Duty (Nov/Dec-03)
Machine Safety – Are Your Machines Safe to Operate? (Sep/Oct-03)
Summer is Here (Jul/Aug-03)
Working Safely On Powered Industrial Trucks (Forklifts) (May/Jun-03)
Does Your Safety and Health Workplace Program Contain All of These Elements? (Mar/Apr-03)
Methylene Chloride (Jan/Feb-03)
Safety Signs & Labels - Does Your Facility Comply? (Nov/Dec-02)
Indoor Air Quality (Sep/Oct-02)
When OSHA Arrives (Jul/Aug-02)
Facts About the Occupation Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) (May/Jun-02)
Workplace Fire Safety (Mar/Apr-02)
OSHA 300 Form (Jan/Feb-02)
Preparing for Disaster (Nov/Dec-01)
How Much is a Life Worth? (Sep/Oct-01)
Material Handling Programs (Jul/Aug-01)
It's Up To You To Protect Your Skin (May/Jun-01)
When You’ve Been Handed the Responsibility for Safety (Mar/Apr-01)
A Fresh Look at Machine Safeguarding (Jan/Feb-01)
Safe Work Habits (Nov/Dec-00)
The Importance of Material Safety Data Sheets (Sep/Oct-00)
Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (Jul/Aug-00)
Lockout/Tagout Program (May/Jun-00)
OSHA Violations, Citations and Penalties for 1998 (Mar/Apr-00)
Erogonomics and Machinery Safeguarding (Jan/Feb-00)
General Machine Principles (Nov/Dec-99)
SAFETY SOLUTIONS
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SAFETY SOLUTIONS: Does OSHA Cite Employers Equally?

The simple answer is no. The United States Department of Labor, Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) does not cite employers equally. If you view their website you will see that in many ways OSHA picks on smaller employers and levies higher penalties while big well-known companies get away with either no penalties or very low penalties for the same hazardous conditions. Does this seem fair to you? Even the Senate had a hearing and wrote a document on these major company violators but the government still grants them millions of dollars in contracts while all along the government knows that these companies still violate the law and seriously injure or even kill their workers.

Two places to view OSHA inspection data and new releases are: www.osha.gov/pls/imis/establishment.html and www.osha.gov/news/newsreleases

In many cases you will see that OSHA cited a small employer hundreds of thousands of dollars for the same type of hazards that they found in larger companies who also get government contracts. Most of the time OSHA inspects these large employers and never finds hazards.

For example, the folloing were found on the OSHA website which is the public domain and this information is open to the public for viewing. So our news publication is not singling out a specific employer.

OSHA cited American Excelsior Company – based in Norwalk, Ohio – for machine guarding hazards after an employee required hospitalization when he suffered a crushed arm. Proposed penalties total $213,411.

OSHA investigators determined that the employee sustained injuries when the machine began operating while he removed product build-up. OSHA cited the company, which manufactures biodegradable erosion control blankets, for failing to develop or implement energy control procedures to prevent unintentional machine start-up during maintenance, and train employees in energy control procedures. American Excelsior Company received citations for similar violations at its Rice Lake, Wisconsin, plant in 2017. OSHA has also placed the company in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program. “This employer failed to implement safety procedures to prevent known hazards," said OSHA Toledo Area Office Director Kimberly Nelson. "This injury could have been avoided if machine locking devices had been installed."

This next example is the Nestle Corporation Bloomington, Illinois who had over 265 machines that were not guarded and the employer did not follow proper lockout and tagout and OSHA procedures was cited for only $20,000 total for both of these issues. This same company stated in written documents that they averaged 33 irreversible injuries and one fatality to machinery that was not properly guarded.

OSHA has cited Remington Arms Company LLC – based in Madison, North Carolina – for 27 violations of workplace safety and health standards after an employee’s fingertip was amputated while working on a broaching machine at its Ilion, New York, manufacturing plant. The arms manufacturer faces $210,132 in penalties.

OSHA inspectors found numerous safety violations, including lack of machine guarding and exposures to electrical, chemical, ladder, tripping, crushing, and struck-by hazards. The company was also cited for several health violations, including failing to conduct atmospheric testing in confined spaces, monitor lead exposure levels, implement a hearing conservation program, provide first-aid training and appropriate protective clothing for employees working with corrosive chemicals, protect employees from exposure to cadmium, and label hazardous chemicals containers.

"The violations identified exposed employees to serious and potentially life-threatening injuries," said OSHA Syracuse Area Director Jeffrey Prebish. "Employers can minimize workplace dangers by conducting required job hazard analyses." This is the same OSHA that let the big company Nestle off the hook and a company that has the same willful type hazards and have higher amputation rates then these other companies.

OSHA has proposed penalties of $1,326,367 to Dowa THT America Inc. – a metal heat treatment company based in Bowling Green, Ohio – after the company exposed employees to atmospheric, thermal, electrical, and mechanical hazards as they performed maintenance inside heattreating furnaces. In addition to the penalties, OSHA placed the company in the Severe Violator Enforcement Program.

OSHA cited the company for 25 willful, serious, and other-thanserious violations for hazards related to confined spaces, falls, machine guarding, respiratory protection, chemical exposures, and electrical equipment. The company also failed to provide adequate personal protective equipment, and train their employees on hazards in the facility.

“The violations identified exposed employees to serious, and potentially life-threatening injuries and illnesses,” said Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Loren Sweatt. “Employers have a legal obligation to assess their workplaces for hazards, and establish appropriate safety and health programs to protect their workers.”

Do not take the chance if your machinery is not safeguarded. You do not know if you have hazards unless you conduct an audit. In addition you need to train your employees based on your equipment’s operators manuals.

In closing I wanted you to know that OSHA does not treat employers equally. You may know I used to work for federal OSHA as a compliance officer and machine guarding and Lockout and Tagout are high on their list of citations. If I can be of any help to your company, please contact me.

For more information, click on the author biography at the top of the page.

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