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OSHA watch

Full enforcement of fall protection directive again on hold

For the fourth time, OSHA has delayed full enforcement of its residential construction fall protection directive, giving employers until Dec. 15 to comply before imposing harsher penalties.

The directive requires employers to follow fall protection rules on residential construction projects unless they can prove conventional methods are not feasible and they have a written plan for specific alternatives.

Recent fines and awards

Trucking company must reinstate employee and pay back wages - Arizona

A driver who refused to drive a truck containing explosives with a co-driver who smoked in the vehicle, a violation of Department of Transportation regulations, was terminated. OSHA has ordered M3 Transport/SLT Expressway to reinstate an employee and pay him $315,000 in back wages and damages.

Contractor faces over $40,000 in fines for failure to protect employees from cave-ins - Massachusetts

OSHA has cited Cavalieri Construction Co. Inc. for alleged willful and serious excavation hazards at a Chelsea worksite.

Employer faces over $160,000 in fines for allowing employees to ride on forklifts and other violations - New Jersey

Upon receiving a complaint, OSHA initiated an inspection of Continental Terminals Inc., based in Jersey City and cited the company with 18 alleged safety and health violations at the company's warehouse in Kearney. Citations carrying $98,000 in penalties have been issued for two willful violations that involve permitting employees to ride on the forks of forklifts and a failure to provide fall protection on platforms

Contractor sued for firing employee who reported asbestos hazards - New York

Albany-based demolition and construction disposal contractor Champagne Demolition LLC and manager Joseph Champagne have been sued for allegedly firing an employee who reported improper asbestos removal practices while working at Gloversville High School.

Contractor faces more than $136,000 in fines for fall hazards - New York

OSHA has cited masonry contractor, Blade Contracting Inc., based in Staten Island, with seven safety - including one willful - violations for fall hazards at a Jersey City, N.J., work site. The investigation was initiated after a worker was injured falling from a sixth floor balcony while attempting to access a suspension scaffold. Proposed penalties total $136,290.

OSHA cites company for process management safety violations and assesses over $138,000 in fines - Ohio

OSHA has cited Yenkin Majestic Paint Corp. for 26 health violations after a cloud containing flammable vapors was released from the company's Columbus facility, which operates as OPC Polymers, on March 21. OSHA initiated an inspection under its national emphasis program on process safety management for covered chemical facilities. Proposed fines total $138,600.

Die manufacturer faces $55,000 in fines - Pennsylvania

OSHA recently cited a die manufacturer in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania for 14 safety violations, 13 of which are considered serious. Danco Precision Inc. faces $55,000 in proposed penalties for the assorted workplace safety violations.

Seven companies fined for exposing workers to asbestos - Texas

OSHA has cited seven construction companies - three Miami-based contractors and four San Antonio-based subcontractors - with 45 serious and one other-than-serious violation for exposing workers to asbestos hazards at a San Antonio construction work site. Proposed penalties total $148,000.

Company cited for failure to isolate power during maintenance - Wisconsin

OSHA has cited Miller Compressing Co. in Milwaukee with two willful safety violations for allowing employees to perform maintenance on a shredder without first isolating the machine's energy source. OSHA opened an inspection upon receiving a complaint alleging hazards at the company's scrap processing facility. Proposed fines total $70,000.

Detailed descriptions of the citations above and other OSHA citations can be found here.