OSHA Fines St. Louis Company for Unsafe Cranes, Other Hazards

October 5, 2005

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued citations to Industrial Steel Fabrication Inc., Hazelwood, Mo., proposing penalties totaling $159,200 for alleged failure to protect workers from unsafe cranes and other hazards.

OSHA initiated an inspection of the steel fabrication company in April following receipt of a formal complaint.

Citations were issued alleging one willful violation with a proposed penalty of $56,000, ten repeat violations with proposed penalties of $39,200 and 32 serious violations with proposed penalties of $64,000.

“Employers must provide a safe and healthful working environment and ensure that employees are protected from hazardous conditions,” said OSHA’s Kansas City Regional Administrator Charles Adkins, CIH. “This employer is well aware of the standards that will protect workers from the hazards we found during our inspection, yet did not implement them.”

The willful violation concerns hazards associated with the continued use of an overhead crane after unsafe conditions were disclosed by an annual inspection. OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with an intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and regulations.

The repeat violations address crane, machine guarding, electrical, welding, noise, hazard communication and training deficiencies. Repeat violations occur when an employer has been previously cited for the same or a substantially similar condition and the citation has become a final order of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. OSHA cited the company in May 2004 for violations of the same standards or the same hazards.

Among the serious violations cited are hazards associated with cranes, lockout/tagout, fire protection, machine guarding, welding, electrical, hazardous materials, respiratory protection and egress. Serious violations occur when there is probability of death or serious physical harm and the employer knew or should have known of the hazard.

Industrial Steel Fabrication has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to comply with them, request and participate in an informal conference with the OSHA area director or contest them before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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