The United States Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has assessed $138,430 in fines to Missouri sheet metal manufacturer, Hammond Sheet Metal, numerous health and safety violations involving safe working conditions. Among the violations were 15 serious and one repeated offense. These violations came, following a July 7th investigation by OSHA, which was conducted as the result of a Missouri federal court order. This court order arose out of numerous complaints of unsafe working conditions and employee injuries. Upon inspection, OSHA conducted a review of company injury logs and found numerous suffered laceration reports.
Hammond Sheet Metal, which operates at Barrington Manufacturing Corporation, was cited for numerous offenses, including:
- Failure to evaluate workplace for hazards
- Failure to ensure workers incorporated eye/face protection and other personal protective equipment
- Failure to provide workers with adequate hazardous chemicals training
- Failure to install adequate machine guarding
- Failure to develop and implement adequate energy energy control and machine safety procedures
- Failure to keep spraying areas free of combustible residue accumulation
- Failure to maintain 20 foot distance of all spark-producing equipment from potentially combustible residues
- Failure to remove damaged powered industrial trucks from service
- Failure to monitor and prevent chromium from accumulating on surfaces
OSHA Kansas City area director, Karena Lorek, said, “Employers have a legal responsibility to provide safe working conditions and allow OSHA to investigate complaints, when safety is overlooked. Barrington Manufacturing must make immediate changes to its safety and health programs to ensure workers are protected from injuries and illnesses in its facility.”
Many offenses are avoidable, given the proper training.Safe working conditions is a team effort with multiple facets. One resource that safety leaders can utilize, to that end, is an OSHA-approved training course. As regards the “failure to provide workers with adequate hazardous chemicals training” offense, compliance is a simple as provide a course for all workers to participate in. The difference between proper training and a failure to maintain compliance with safety and health regulations can prove to be potentially life-threatening to employees tasked with managing hazardous chemicals.