Update: Although this major OSHA fine occurred in 2017, similar fines continue to be issued to Texas manufacturers who fail to keep up with OSHA health and safety compliance.
Checkout the details of this enforcement action and helpful safety compliance resources at the bottom of this blog.
OSHA announced this week that they fined an Austin area manufacturer a total of $459,918 for a long list of health and safety violations. This is one of the largest single OSHA fines we’ve ever seen, anywhere and for any industry, and it happened to an Austin area manufacturer.
This is a stark reminder that the 78% OSHA fine increases that went into effect last August are in full effect, and that non-compliant companies face huge fines and penalties for failing to implement and manage health and safety programs.
The company faces a total of $186,506 in fines for 20 Safety related violations, and a total of $273,918 in fines for 29 Health related violations. Not only is the fine amount significant, but the total of 49 citations will be very difficult to address and correct. Keep in mind that once a company gets fined, “the clock starts ticking” to fix the problems, and if they’re not remediated by the appointed deadlines, the problems could only get worse for the company.
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Here is a summary of some of the major citations. These are common OSHA violations that many companies have in their workplace and struggle to properly manage:
“Serious” Safety Citations:
- Housekeeping issues that created slips/trips/falls and ergonomic hazards: $5,432
- Transferring flammable liquids from 55 gal drums to smaller containers without appropriate safe guards: $5432
- Flammable vapors near gas ovens created ignition hazard: $12,675
- Transferring flammable liquids between containers without nozzle and containers being electrically interconnected: $12,675
- Combustible wastes not stored in appropriate containers or disposed of daily: $10,864
- Failure to implement and manage a Permit Required Confined Space Program: $12,675
- Lockout/Tagout violation: Tags failed to identify employee applying LOTO devices: $5,432
- Lockout/Tagout violation: LOTO devices not affixed to energy sources by authorized employees: $9,054
- Failure to train employees for forklift use: $5,432
- Multiple Machine Guarding Violations: $34,404
- Fan power cord plug missing ground prong: $7,234
- Power cord strain relief violations: $7,234
- “Repeat” LOTO audit violation: $45,270
“Serious” Health Citations:
- Failure to train employees on proper PPE use for Hearing Conservation Program: $9,054
- Failure to provide PPE to employees: $5,432
- Failure to conduct Hazard Assessments per PPE standard: $5,432
- Failure to provide PPE/Respirators to employees to protect from respirable silica dust: $12,675
- Failure to implement and manage a filter cartridge change schedule per Respiratory Protection Program: $9,054
- Failure to conduct compliant fit testing for respirators: $12,675
- Failure to provide hand protection PPE: $7,234
- Failure to implement administrative and engineering controls to protect employees from inhalation hazards: $12,675
- Failure to conduct health exposure testing, 2 citations: $10,864
- Failure to properly label secondary chemical containers: $7,243
- Failure to inform employees and provide PPE to protect from various chemical hazards: $10,864
- “Willful” violation for exposing employees to excessive levels of respirable silica dust: $12,674
To view all of the violations click below:
If you are a Texas manufacturer without a safety program or are unsure of the status of your OSHA compliance program you remain vulnerable to these major fines and penalties.
If this sounds familiar, take action before it’s too late. Here are some resources designed to educate and get you on track:
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