Ohio Manufacturer Fined $174,000

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration handed 55 citations totaling more than $174,000 to Hobart Brothers Co., a manufacturer of welding wire and ground power equipment for airplanes in Troy, OH.

OSHA opened an inspection into the company under the agency’s Site-Specific Targeting program, which focuses on companies with injury and illness rates that exceed national standards. Hobart Brothers’ injury and illness rate in 2008 was 5.9 percent per 100 workers, and in 2009 it was 6 percent per 100. The 2008 national average was 3.9, and the 2009 average was 3.6.

Thirty-one serious safety violations with penalties of $121,500 involve failing to guard floor holes, provide adequate railings, unlock exit doors, isolate energy sources, guard machines, provide fall protection for workers required to be on the top of ovens, provide lockout/tagout procedures for the energy sources of equipment, train workers on hazardous energy sources, use and install equipment in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations, and provide appropriate personal protective equipment for employees performing energized electrical work.

Twelve serious health violations with penalties of $51,300 involve failing to sample noise levels, provide annual audiograms, train workers on hazard communication and provide confined space evaluations. 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.

Seven other-than-serious safety violations with no monetary penalties involve failing to store combustible rags in a covered metal receptacle, properly mark exit doors and train workers on fire hazards. Five other-than-serious health violations with proposed penalties of $1,800 were cited for failing to properly record injuries and illnesses as well as post noise standards. 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.

“Failing to develop and implement procedures to control hazardous energy and to provide fall protection exposes workers to amputations, falls and many other hazards while demonstrating this employer’s lack of regard for workers’ safety and health,” said Bill Wilkerson, OSHA’s area director in Cincinnati. “OSHA is committed to protecting workers on the job, especially when employers fail to do so.”

   

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