Texas Company Fined $212K Over Safety Hazards

May 24, 2012

Federal regulators have imposed a fine of more than $200,000 against an aluminum products manufacturing facility in Carrollton, Texas, for safety and health violations.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Western Extrusions Corp. with two willful and 13 serious violations for exposing workers to a variety of safety and health hazards. Proposed penalties total $212,000.

The willful violations involve failing to implement lockout/tagout procedures for machines’ energy sources to protect workers performing maintenance and setup activities, and provide guarding on press brakes.

A willful violation is one committed with intentional knowing or voluntary disregard for the law’s requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.

The serious violations include failing to guard open-sided floors and platforms, provide personal protective equipment, properly label hazardous chemicals, ensure that isolation and de-energization procedures are followed, remove damaged synthetic web slings from service, provide guards around rotating and moving parts of machinery, establish die-setting procedures for mechanical power presses, guard chains and sprockets, provide hepatitis B vaccinations to workers and provide training on bloodborne pathogens.

A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

Due to the willful violations and the nature of the hazards, OSHA has placed Western Extrusions Corp. in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program, which mandates targeted follow-up inspections to ensure compliance with the law.

Western Extrusions, which employs about 900 workers, has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s Dallas area director or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Source: OSHA

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