Columbus, OH – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) seeks a $709K fine from a paint manufacturer connected with a fatal April 8 fire and explosion. The incident occurred in Columbus’s Yenkin-Majestic Paint and OPC Polymers Corporation. The company manufactures and markets industrial coatings that include acrylics, alkyds, coil and powder coatings, epoxies, primers, and urethanes. The tragedy linked to eight hospitalizations and one fatality. Property damage alone was more than $1 million. A building in the OPC Polymer unit collapsed as a result of the incident. The blast shook neighboring buildings, and at least one nearby business sustained damage.
The tragedy could have been prevented
“Yenkin-Majestic Paint Corp. could have prevented this tragedy if they had followed industry standards and removed a compromised kettle from service,” said Acting OSHA Regional Administrator William Donovan in Chicago. “Knowing that this company altered equipment, failed to use a qualified fabricator, and returned equipment to service knowing that it did not meet safety standards is unacceptable,” Donovan continued. In December 2020, the manufacturer altered the kettle reactor vessel and the manway opening but did not ensure the vessel maintained its pressure-containing ability. On January 3, following the alteration, the newly installed manway failed. The company made additional alterations to the vessel when installing a new gasket. It again failed to adhere to OSHA’s PSM, pressure vessel inspection procedures, and the American Petroleum Institute’s pressure vessel inspection code.
OSHA’s investigationdetermined the kettle reactor vessel released a flammable vapor cloud when its manway cover and gasket failed. The vapor flowed throughout the plant, ignited, and caused the initial explosion.
The citations and penalties
OSHA cited the Ohio paint and resins manufacturer with two willful and 33 serious safety violations. The violations including of the process safety management (PSM) and hazardous waste operations and emergency response (HAZWOPER) standards. OSHA also cited the employer for lack of employee safety training and personal protective equipment (PPE). The agency proposed penalties totaling $709,960 and placed Yenkin-Majestic in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program (SVEP). Willful violations will be cited when an employer knowingly disregards or acts indifferently for safety and health laws and regulations. Employers included in the SVEP are subject to mandatory follow-up inspections and under pressure to abide by cited safety hazards.
The U.S.Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) also dispatched investigators to the Columbus facility following the incident. The CSB is an independent federal agency that investigates industrial chemical accidents. CSB investigations can take several months and result in a report containing recommendations for government agencies, companies, trade associations, labor unions, and other groups.
Martin Technical encourages organizations to develop a robust workplace safety strategy by including regular workplace safety training.
MANCHESTER, OH – Two companies were cited in a building collapse that caused the death of two workers. On Dec. 9th, 2020, the Killen Power Generation Station’s building collapsed. Its steel beams fell on and killed two workers employed to demolish the facility. According to OSHA’s press release the employees were a laborer cutting steel and a truck driver preparing to move the scrap metal off-site.
OSHA investigated the project and cited two Michigan companies. The two companies were general contractor Adamo of Detroit, and SCM Engineering Demolition Inc. of East China. Both were cited for multiple violations of the general duty clause and failing to inspect the site regularly for hazards resulting from the demolition process.
The two companies cited in the building collapse have combined proposed penalties of $194,012. Adamo is responsible for $181,724 for a range of violations. SCM Engineering faces penalties of $12,288 for three serious violations.
OSHA determined the companies allowed employees to continue working under hazardous conditions without adding shoring, bracing, or other means to steady the structure. OSHA also determined they failed to train employees on identifying potential hazards.
OSHA Area Director Kenneth Montgomery in Cincinnati was quoted as saying, “Some of the most dangerous construction projects are those that involve demolishing buildings. This tragedy could have been prevented if the employer protected their workers with proper planning, training and appropriate personal protective equipment and by complying with OSHA standards.”
Both companies have 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Martin Technical provides safety training to prevent accidents such as these.
Cleveland, OH- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has proposed $1.57 million in fines against an Ohio company after an accident that claimed the lives of two workers in February 2020. These two deaths prompted an on-site inspection on behalf of OSHA, and a letter from OSHA outlining the violations and fines was released August 2020.
The company in question is Great Lakes Tank and Vessel L.L.C., which specializes in cleaning large storage tanks such as chemical and gas. The proposed charges are the 5th-highest the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued since January of 2015.
With such a sum of over $1.5 million, the breakdown of individual charges and citations proposed by OSHA and served to the company can be found here. Among the many fines, one included was a fine for not evaluating the effectiveness of respirators after an Tattempt had been made to repair them using tape following chemical exposure.
Martin Technical reiterates our commitment to safety, education, and training that prevents these tragedies in the workplace.
Fostoria, OH – The amputations and injuries that resulted from inadequate lockout tagout procedures and practices at a northwestern Ohio vinyl tile manufacturer have now also resulted in over half a million dollars in fines for federal safety violations.
Nox Corporation has been cited for five “willful” and two “serious” violations related to inadequate lockout tagout procedures. OSHA issued Nox $514,236 in fines on Dec 21, 2017 and has placed the corporation on its Severe Violator Enforcement Program.
An investigation into the South Korean vinyl tile manufacturer was triggered by two incidents in 2017 and led to the discovery of eight machine safety violations. One employee required surgery after a tile machine crushed his hand, and shortly afterward, an employee suffered partial amputations of two fingers while working on a recycle material system.
OSHA cited Nox Corp for failing to use adequate lockout/tagout procedures and devices to prevent unintentional machine movement, failure to train employees, and exposing employees to fall hazards. Nox has been placed in OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program.
In a statement from OSHA’s Toledo office, the area director stated that “when dangerous machines are not properly guarded or de-energized, employees face an increased risk of serious injuries…Employers must monitor their facilities continuously to ensure workplace safety and health procedures are adequate and effective.”
McComb, OH – Hearthside Food Solutions faces OSHA fines for several safety violations related to failure to protect workers from machinery operating parts. $47,000 in OSHA fines have been proposed in connection with an employee suffering severe scalp injuries and multiple cuts in July 2015. The McComb, OH facility produces cookies and crackers for nationally recognized brands.
Hearthside is being accused of several safety violations for failing to protect workers from machinery operating parts. A machine at the factory caught the hairnet of a worker cleaning product waste from the floor last July. She was hospitalized for four days.
OSHA is especially concerned because of similar accidents in the past. Last April, a Hearthside employee lost part of a finger trying to unjam a machine. Hearthside was fined for Lockout/Tagout and machine safety violations for that incident.
Based in Downers Grove, Illinois, Hearthside Food Solutions has 23 facilities in North America and Europe. The company employs about 6,000 workers, nearly 1,800 of them at the McComb plant.
Bellevue, OH – OSHA investigators have cited Bellevue Manufacturing Co. with 19 “serious” violations and one “other” violation during an inspection of the northwest Ohio auto parts manufacturing facility. Fines for these violations total $112,500. OSHA conducted the inspection after receiving a complaint about unsafe working conditions at the company’s plant.
The citations included exposing employees to parts of machinery while the machinery was in operation; falling hazards on platforms that lacked guardrails; lack of lock-out, tag-out devices that resulted in unintentional operation of machinery during service and maintenance; electrical shock due to a lack of personal protective equipment and training for safe work practices; and confined space hazards when entering a parts washer because of lack of training and warning signs.
OSHA said the company also failed to provide eye and face protection for workers exposed to battery acid. Eye wash stations were not present, and workers were not adequately trained to operate powered industrial vehicles.
Bellevue, OH – Wilbert Plastic Services has been cited for 10 safety and health violations, including lockout tagout and PPE failures. These failures resulted in one injured employee, and $48,900 in proposed penalties.
OSHA‘s Toledo office conducted an inspection in May after a 36-year-old worker suffered burns to his face, eyes, and hands as he was cleaning a mold in a press. The OSHA representative stated that the injuries occurred because preventive procedures were not taken to stop the machine from releasing hot plastic during maintenance. These procedures are known as Lockout/Tagout.
The company was cited for serious violations including a lack of personal protective equipment to prevent burns and falls; failure to comply with machine safety procedures such as locking devices and neutralizing equipment; failure to train employees in machine safety; employee exposure to falling situations when accessing press parts; and failure to keep floors in dry and safe conditions.
Wilbert Plastic Services in Bellevue (OH) operates a plastic-injection molding plant and manufactures parts for Ford and Whirlpool. They employ 325 workers at the Bellevue (OH) plant.
Martin Technical’s Rapid LOTO Lockout Program is the most advanced and comprehensive program in the industry. We leverage our experience in maintenance and safety with today’s technologies to provide a robust system designed for ease of implementation and easy to understand. Contact an expert on our Safety & Compliance Team today to discuss your needs, or request a quote for services.
Bellefontaine, OH – OSHA inspectors found that HBD/Thermoid Inc., a rubber-hose manufacturer in Ohio, continues to put workers at risk of amputations and serious injuries by ignoring safety rules for industrial machines.
HBD/Thermoid was cited for one willful and 10 serious safety violations and faces $134,000 in proposed penalties as a result of the October 2104 inspection. The inspection was opened under OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program. In May 2014, a worker was killed after being caught in an industrial machine at the company’s North Carolina location.
Kim Nelson, area director of OSHA’s Toledo office, shared the staggering data that “each year, more than 200,000 workers are injured by machines in the United States. Each day, an average of 12 workers are killed on-the-job. Employees and their families pay the painful price emotionally and economically when companies don’t follow standards to reduce injuries.”
The willful violation was cited for failing to protect workers from the operating parts of hose balers and hose feed equipment during the manufacturing process. Workers were also found to be in danger of amputation because machines were not shut down properly before repair and maintenance – a process known as Lockout/Tagout.
A total of 10 serious safety violations were issued. HBD/Thermoid machines were also found being operated without proper safety devices. Additionally, inspectors noted that work platforms and elevator shafts lacked adequate guardrails to protect workers from falls; electrical parts were not de-energized prior to performing work; and personal protective equipment to safeguard workers from electrical shock was not provided.
HBD/Thermoid employs about 1,000 workers corporatewide and manufactures hoses used in a variety of industries, such as transportation, food processing and agriculture.
Miamisburg, OH – The electrocution death of a welder at a Cohen Brothers subsidiary facility in October 2014 has resulted in one willful and eight serious safety OSHA electrical safety violations.
Metal Shredders, a subsidiary of Cohen Brothers, located in Middletown, Ohio has been issued proposed penalties of $115,000 by the Occupational Health & Safety Administration. These fines follow an investigation initiated by OSHA after the electrocution of a Metal Shredders maintenance worker.
On Oct. 16, 2014, Geff Garnett attempted to enter a substation by climbing over a concrete wall and fence on the side of the transformer substation. His foot touched the electrical line, which was still energized, and was electrocuted.
OSHA found Metal Shredders failed to protect the welder from an energized electrical line while he was cutting a metal roof off an industrial transformer substation at the facility. The failure resulted in the death of the employee. OSHA investigators found Metal Shredders failed to verify that electrical lines were absent of voltage after turning off the disconnect switch inside the transformer substation cabinet, resulting in a willful violation. Obviously this kind of tragic accident could have been avoided if the materials being used had been checked properly, but it’s also a good idea to look at getting the best mild sheets to ensure safety even further.
Cohen Brothers were also issued three serious safety violations for failing to train employees in electrical safe work practices, the proposed penalties of which total $21,000.
“This was a tragic death that could have been prevented by following basic safety practices for working with high voltage transmission lines,” says Ken Montgomery, OSHA’s area director in Cincinnati. “Employers who work with high voltage electricity must train workers in recognizing hazards and proper procedures to de-energize lines, and ensure the working environment is safe. No workers should lose their life on the job.”
Cohen Brothers strongly disputes the citations. In an official statement, they’ve said, “(OSHA) issued incorrect and unfounded citations today against our company for the October accident that took the life of Geff Garnett…Safety is the core value of Cohen Recycling and we have a long-standing and recognized commitment to the health and safety of our employees.”
ELIDA, OH — OSHA inspectors issued four willful, four repeated, and 19 serious health and safety violations to A & D Wood Products, a wood pallet manufacturer based in Elida, Ohio. Acting on an employee complaint, OSHA investigators found workers at risk of amputation, explosion and other life-threatening hazards due to lockout/tagout negligence.
Employees of A & D Wood Products were found to be routinely exposed to amputation, combustible dust and other dangerous hazards. The company faces proposed penalties of $133,540 and has been placed in the agency’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program.
Under hazardous working conditions, employees operated machines without eye protection and without effective safeguards from moving parts amid large amounts of combustible wood dust piled throughout the facility. The force from such an explosion can cause deaths, injuries and destruction of buildings.
Kim Nelson, OSHA’s area director in Toledo, stated: “A & D Wood Products operates a manufacturing shop that exposes workers to real hazards daily, creating an environment that forces workers to make a choice between their lives and their livelihood…With 27 violations, it’s clear the safety and health of its workforce is not a priority for them.”
A & D Wood Products workers were found to be exposed to amputation and other injury hazards because devices were not used to prevent equipment from suddenly starting during service and maintenance, a procedure known as lockout/tagout. Inspectors also flagged electrical safety hazards like cabinets not closed properly to prevent contact with energized wires. A & D Wood Products was cited for similar violations at the facility in November 2011. OSHA issues repeated violations if an employer was previously cited for the same or a similar violation of any standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years.
A & D also failed to provide hearing protection and audiometric testing for employees, which can identify premature hearing loss. Noise-related hearing loss is one of the most prevalent occupational health concerns in the U.S., with an estimated 30 million workers exposed to noise each year. Additionally, OSHA inspectors noted machine guarding and electrical safety violations, poor hygiene conditions and unsafe practices related to forklift operations, including leaving forklifts running and unattended. The company also failed to train employees on fire extinguisher use and about hazardous chemicals and products used in the facility, and provided inadequate personal protective equipment. In total, 19 serious violations were cited.