California OSHA issued $72,345 in penalties to Petro Chemical Materials Innovation in South Gate for failing to de-energize and guard a moving conveyor belt while a worker was cleaning it. The worker suffered a serious amputation injury to his right arm when his glove was caught in the moving conveyor belt.
OSHA has cited ABC Polymer Industries, LLC, after an employee suffered fatal injuries when she was pulled into a plastics recycling machine. The company faces $195,144 in penalties. The employer received one willful citation for failing to provide machine guarding to protect employees from caught-in and amputation hazards. The company was also cited for repeat, serious, and other-than-serious violations, including not having specific safety procedures to shut down or isolate stored energy. For more information, see the news release.
Manuel Gallardo, owner of Gallardo’s Construction Services, was cited after OSHA inspectors observed employees exposed to fall hazards on six Chicago-area residential roofing projects between August and November 2017. Gallardo was cited for four willful and three repeated violations for failing to: install fall protection systems, ensure the use of protective devices, and train workers in fall protection hazards. OSHA proposed penalties of $281,286. For more information, read the news release.
As cases of flu remain high across the country, proper precautions must be taken to keep workers healthy. OSHA’s Seasonal Flu webpage provides basic precautions that should be used by employers and workers in all workplaces, such as frequent hand washing, and covering coughs and sneezes. OSHA also recommends that health care professionals follow infection control practices; use gloves, gowns, and other protective equipment to reduce exposures; and encourage sick workers to stay home.
OSHA and OSHA Education Centers in Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas, are offering a free WebEx presentation on silica hazards from March 5 to 9. The one-hour webinar will focus on compliance with the OSHA standard for silica in the construction and general industries, and best practices for prevention. Register here.
A federal jury in Atlanta has convicted Erick Powell, a former operator and co-owner of the National Vocation Group job-staffing company, of wire fraud. A second defendant and co-owner, Ahmad McCormick, previously pleaded guilty to wire fraud.
Powell and McCormick used online job boards to advertise jobs in the housekeeping and maintenance industries that paid above-average wages. NVG falsely told applicants that they must pay a $349 fee for federally required OSHA training before starting work in the advertised jobs. OSHA does not require such training. Hundreds of applicants paid the fee and took the course, but none of the applicants received the jobs they were promised.
When several victims complained to law enforcement, NVG relocated its offices and continued its fraudulent activities. Both defendants face up to 20 years in prison. For more information, read the Department of Justice news release.
President Donald J. Trump’s fiscal year 2019 budget request for OSHA supports his continued efforts to assure safe and healthful jobs for the American people.
“The President’s budget provides a fiscally responsible framework to advance the Department of Labor’s mission of ensuring all Americans have access to family-sustaining jobs,” said Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta. “From addressing the skills gap through apprenticeships to prioritizing workplace safety, this budget reflects a strong commitment to the American workforce. It also includes important reforms to ensure that taxpayer dollars are used to maximum effect.”
OSHA’s FY 2019 budget request provides an increase of $6.1 million for 42 new Compliance Safety and Health Officers to continue the agency’s strong commitment to enforcement; and another $5.1 million for 24 Compliance Assistance Specialists and eight Voluntary Protection Programs staff to allow the agency to expand its training, outreach, compliance assistance, and cooperative programs.
Falling tree limbs, moving vehicles, overhead power lines, and high noise levels are a few of the dangers professional tree care workers may encounter. OSHA’s new resource, Solutions for Tree Care Hazards, highlights common hazards in the tree care industry, and provides safety measures for employers and workers.
OSHA is also publishing a revised fact sheet that summarizes the major requirements of the respirable crystalline silica standard for general industry and maritime.
OSHA initiated an inspection of Pioneer Health Care Center after receiving two complaints of workplace violence. Inspectors found five documented incidents of employee injuries, and several more unreported incidents. The Rocky Ford-based nursing home was cited for failing to implement adequate measures to protect employees from workplace violence. OSHA proposed penalties of $9,054. For more information, read the news release.