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OSHA’s Top 10 most cited violations for FY 2021

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This list of OSHA’s highest proposed monetary penalties in fiscal year 2021 comprises those stemming from a single incident or related incidents in which one or more employers are alleged to have failed to adhere to safe work practices. These failures put workers at risk – in some cases fatally. The following information was gathered from press releases issued by federal OSHA between Oct. 1, 2020, and Sept. 30, 2021, as well as data provided by the agency’s communications team.

(Note: Dollar amounts may be reduced as part of a settlement agreement or litigation.)

$1.256 million

EMPLOYER: Atlantic Coast Utilities LLC/Advanced Utilities Inc., and its successors, including Sterling Excavation LLC
LOCATION: Wayland, MA (OSHA Region 1)
BUSINESS TYPE: Utility provider
INSPECTION TRIGGER: Fatalities
EVENT: Two workers at a sewer repair worksite suffered fatal injuries after being struck and pushed into an unprotected trench by a dump truck driving in reverse. OSHA investigators found that the company neglected to provide training to avoid work-related hazards while failing to conduct worksite inspections related to hazard recognition.
MAJOR CITATIONS: Atlantic Coast Utilities et al. was cited for 12 serious violations, seven willful violations and one repeat violation. The citation included the agency’s first egregious violation issued under then-acting OSHA administrator Jim Frederick. An agency press release indicates OSHA has inspected Atlantic Coast Utilities and owner Laurence Moloney – as well as his predecessor and successor companies – multiple times.

 

$1.221 million

EMPLOYER: General Aluminum Manufacturing Co.
LOCATION: Ravenna, OH (OSHA Region 5)
BUSINESS TYPE: Aluminum parts manufacturer
INSPECTION TRIGGER: Complaint
EVENT: A worker was killed after being struck by the barrier door of a machine. The door closed on the worker’s head as he loaded a part into the machine. OSHA inspectors identified issues related to machine guarding and lockout/tagout at the facility, alleging the organization was mindful of the problems but did not act to correct them.
MAJOR CITATIONS: General Aluminum Manufacturing was cited for four serious, eight willful and one repeat violation. The company also was placed in OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program after the fatality inspection as well as two other inspections stemming from employee complaints to inspectors.

 

$676,808

EMPLOYER: Didion Milling Inc.
LOCATION: Cambria, WI (OSHA Region 5)
BUSINESS TYPE: Grain milling facility
INSPECTION TRIGGER: Fatality
EVENT: OSHA determined that a manager entered an unsafe grain silo to clear corn clogging the bin. An external process to remove the corn already was underway, and the agency says the process should have resumed for multiple days before anyone was allowed to enter. The worker was fatally engulfed – two months after a significant grain shelf collapse at the facility nearly triggered the fatal engulfment of another worker.
MAJOR CITATIONS: OSHA cited Didion Milling for 10 serious and four willful violations.

 

$595,474

EMPLOYER: Foundation Food Group Inc.
LOCATION: Gainesville, GA (OSHA Region 4)
BUSINESS TYPE: Poultry processing plant
INSPECTION TRIGGER: Fatalities
EVENT: Six employees died after a freezer malfunctioned and released colorless, odorless liquid nitrogen into the air, displacing the oxygen in the room. OSHA inspectors found that three workers who entered the freezer room shortly after their shift began had never received training on the fatal effects of nitrogen exposure. Other workers subsequently entered the room and were overcome. According to an agency press release, at least 12 other workers were injured and required hospitalization.
MAJOR CITATIONS: Determining that Foundation Food Group and two additional organizations responsible for operations at the facility neglected to implement safety procedures necessary to prevent the leak, OSHA issued 15 serious, three willful and three other violations.

 

$502,050

EMPLOYER: Clarke Products Inc.
LOCATION: Waco, TX (OSHA Region 6)
BUSINESS TYPE: Plastics and plumbing fixture manufacturer
INSPECTION TRIGGER: Complaint
EVENT: OSHA determined that the employer failed to use required machine guarding and sufficient fall protection. Two years earlier, the agency cited the organization for failure to ensure the use of machine guards.
MAJOR CITATIONS: Clarke Products was cited for eight repeat, four serious and two willful violations.

 

$451,079

EMPLOYER: Fabcon Precast LLC
LOCATION: Grove City, OH (OSHA Region 5)
BUSINESS TYPE: Homebuilder
INSPECTION TRIGGER: Fatality
EVENT: A worker was using an air chipper to remove a jam from under an open pneumatic concrete mixer discharge door. Upon the release of the jam, the door closed on the worker’s head and neck, trapping and fatally crushing him.
MAJOR CITATIONS: Fabcon Precast was cited for eight serious and three willful violations, including those related to OSHA’s General Duty Clause, confined space permit requirements and lockout/tagout.

 

$448,303

EMPLOYER: Bentoli Inc.
LOCATION: Elgin, TX (OSHA Region 6)
BUSINESS TYPE: Farm supply merchant wholesaler
INSPECTION TRIGGER: Fatality
EVENT: A worker died after being trapped in a machine, according to a news report. OSHA did not issue a press release for the incident.
MAJOR CITATIONS: OSHA cited Bentoli for three serious, three willful and two other violations. Two of the serious violations were related to the agency’s standard on lockout/tagout, while the other was related to the standard on powered industrial trucks. Lack of fall protection also was cited.

 

$419,347

EMPLOYER: Trinity Rail Maintenance and Services Inc.
LOCATION: Hugo, OK (OSHA Region 6)
BUSINESS TYPE: Rail car products and services provider
INSPECTION TRIGGER: Fatalities
EVENT: OSHA inspectors found that the company failed to require permits to allow entry into a rail car and to complete permits to perform work inside a confined space. These conditions contributed to two worker deaths, the agency concluded. After one worker became unresponsive after entering a natural gas rail car to clean the space, a colleague also was overcome while attempting a rescue. Although the workers ultimately were recovered, they later were pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.
MAJOR CITATIONS: Trinity Rail was cited for 11 serious and two willful violations.

 

$404,811

EMPLOYER: Carework Construction LLC
LOCATION: Wyckhoff, NJ (OSHA Region 2)
BUSINESS TYPE: Contractor
INSPECTION TRIGGER: Planned inspection
EVENT: Among its findings, OSHA discovered that the contractor violated standards for fall protection in addition to those for head, eye and face protection.
MAJOR CITATIONS: Carework Construction was cited for one willful and two repeat violations.

 

$394,402

EMPLOYER: Family Dollar Stores Inc.
LOCATION: Paterson, NJ (OSHA Region 2)
BUSINESS TYPE: Discount retailer
INSPECTION TRIGGER: Complaint
EVENT: Blocked aisles and exit routes, improper wiring design, and poor protection and management of compressed gases were observed at Family Dollar Store No. 10330, which also was found to be in violation of OSHA’s standard on injury and illness recordkeeping and reporting (Subpart 1904).
MAJOR CITATIONS: Family Dollar Stores was cited for three repeat, two willful and one serious violation.

 

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