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OSHA's Top 10 most frequently cited violations

OSHA's Top 10: The more things change ...

OSHA may implement new rules and enforcement changes, but the agency's list of the Top 10 most frequently cited violations stays the same


Penalty Box

The list of OSHA’s proposed monetary penalties in fiscal year 2014 comprises penalties stemming from a single incident or related incidents in which one or more companies allegedly failed to adhere to safe work practices. This failure puts workers at risk – in some cases fatally. The following information was provided by OSHA.

Note: These fines represent proposed penalties issued by federal OSHA between Oct. 1, 2013, and Sept. 30, 2014. Dollar amounts may be reduced as part of a settlement agreement or litigation.

$2.36 million

Company: Olivet Management, LLC
Location: Dover Plains, NY (OSHA Region 2)
Business Type: Real estate development and management
Inspection Trigger: Complaint
Event: OSHA inspectors found that employees and contractors were exposed to asbestos and lead during renovation and cleanup activities overseen by Olivet supervisors. Despite knowing about the existence of both asbestos and lead in the worksite, the company did not inform the employees or contractors of the hazard, provide them with appropriate protection, or monitor exposure levels.
Major Citations: Olivet was cited for 45 willful violations, including 24 addressing instance-by-instance exposure of workers to the hazards. It also was cited for one serious violation regarding failure to inform waste haulers of the presence of asbestos and asbestos-containing materials.


Company: Formed Fiber Technologies LLC
Location: Sidney, OH (OSHA Region 5)
Business Type: Automotive fabric manufacturer
Inspection Trigger: Follow-up inspection
Event: Formed Fiber Technologies was accused of providing false documentation regarding the abatement of previously cited hazards related to hydraulic presses. During the follow-up inspection, OSHA found that employees remained exposed to unguarded machines and unsafe procedures despite abatement claims.
Major Citations: Formed Fiber Technologies was cited for four repeat violations for failure to train workers on how to properly stop machines before service and maintenance, as well as nine willful violations for failure to prevent startup on machines while workers were performing setup, service and maintenance inside the devices, and failure to develop lockout/ tagout procedures.


Company: Wire Mesh Sales LLC
Location: Jacksonville, FL (OSHA Region 4)
Business Type: Wire mesh manufacturer
Inspection Trigger: Worker death
Event: A worker entered a large wire mesh manufacturing machine to retrieve a metal bar, and was fatally struck by a machine part. Inspectors found a curtain had been disabled that would have automatically turned off the machine before the worker entered.
Major Citations: The company was cited for eight per-instance willful violations for failure to guard and 22 serious violations that included housekeeping and electrical hazards.


Company: Custom Rubber Products LLC
Location: Houston (OSHA Region 6)
Business Type: Oil and gas industry product manufacturer
Inspection Trigger: Complaint of a worker injury
Event: OSHA initiated an inspection following an incident in which a machine operator’s arms were crushed. During the inspection, the agency learned of two other similar incidents at the facility – both of which led to severe injuries.
Major Citations: Custom Rubber Products was cited for eight willful violations regarding failure to provide machine guarding.


Company: Behr Iron & Steel Inc.
Location: South Beloit, IL (OSHA Region 5)
Business Type: Recycling plant
Inspection Trigger: Worker death
Event: A worker suffered multiple external and internal injuries, and later died, after his arm was caught in a conveyor belt at the scrap metal shredding and sorting facility.
Major Citations: The company was cited for seven willful confined space violations, including failure to implement training and failure to inform employees of the dangers present. One serious violation was issued for failure to evaluate the ability of emergency services to respond to emergencies in a permit-required confined space.


Company: Painting & Decorating Inc.
Location: Manhasset, NY (OSHA Region 2)
Business Type: Painting and stucco contractor
Inspection Trigger: Local Emphasis Program on falls
Event: Under the LEP, inspectors found numerous fall and scaffolding hazards, many of which were similar to those identified by OSHA in previous inspections at the employer’s other worksites.
Major Citations: The company was cited for 10 repeat violations for lack of fall protection on a scaffold, an unrestrained scaffold, lack of protective helmets and lack of protection from falling objects, among other hazards. Also identified were five serious hazards for unsound footing, workers climbing on the scaffold’s cross bracing during erection and lack of eye protection.


Company: Fontarome Chemical Inc.
Location: St. Francis, WI (OSHA Region 5)
Business Type: Pharmaceutical manufacturing facility
Inspection Trigger: Follow-up inspection
Event: OSHA initiated an inspection after the company failed to correct hazards following a 2012 fire at the facility. Since initiating the inspection, the company – which manufactured a chemical used for pharmaceuticals and the flavor and fragrance industries – has been sold.
Major Citations: Fontarome Chemical was cited with 23 willful violations that involved process safety management regulations, such as failure to establish safe operating procedures and develop safety information for equipment, and failure to develop procedures to protect workers from machines during maintenance. Fifteen serious violations were cited that involved forklift training, storage and availability of fire extinguishers, obstructed exit routes, lockout/ tagout, and training employees on personal protective equipment.


Company: Campbell Construction and S&R Contracting
Location: Philadelphia (OSHA Region 3)
Business Type: Demolition contractors
Inspection Trigger: Wall collapse
Event: During the demolition of a four-story building, a wall collapsed on an adjacent Salvation Army store, killing six people and injuring 14. OSHA investigators later found that Campbell Construction had removed critical structural supports from that wall.
Major Citations: Campbell Construction was cited for three willful violations for each day the wall was without sufficient lateral support; two willful violations for failure to demolish the building from the top down and for a lack of an engineering survey; and several serious violations for failure to provide employees with hard hats, fall protection and fall hazard training. S&R Contracting received one willful violation and two serious violations for failure to protect employees from falling through holes and to provide fall hazard training.


Company: Pride Plating Inc.
Location: Grove, OK (OSHA Region 6)
Business Type: Coating and metal processing
Inspection Trigger: Not provided
Event: Workers were exposed to hexavalent chromium at the worksite through inhalation, absorption and ingestion.
Major Citations: Pride Plating was cited for nine repeat violations for chromium violations, including failure to provide personal protective equipment and failure to properly train workers; 28 serious violations involving failure to provide adequate walking and working surfaces, lack of separate lock space and storage for street and protective clothing, failure to perform PPE hazard assessments, failure to implement respiratory program and fit testing, and inadequate washing facilities.


Company: Sterling Shipyard LP
Location: Port Neches, TX (OSHA Region 6)
Business Type: Barge builder
Inspection Trigger: Follow-up inspection
Event: OSHA originally cited the employer in 2013 for various hazards, but the agency received no response to the citations. A followup inspection found that the employer had not corrected the previously cited hazards.
Major Citations: The company was cited for three failure-to-abate violations regarding machine, struck-by and fall hazards; four repeat violations for electrical hazards and lack of guardrails; and nine serious violations for failure to train workers on forklift operations, provide hearing protection and perform regular crane inspections.

Brady Worldwide, Inc.

This year's "OSHA's Top 10" feature article is sponsored by Brady Worldwide, Inc.

Next: Q&A: OSHA's perspective

Safety+Health interviews Patrick Kapust,
deputy director of OSHA's Directorate
of Enforcement Programs

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