Briefs

Illinois: American Airlines Cited By OSHA For Violations

OSHA has proposed $231,000 in fines against Dallas-based American Airlines Inc. for allegedly violating workplace safety standards at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport.

After reviewing American Airlines' occupational injury and illness data, which revealed injury and illness rates were higher than the national average, OSHA officials went into O'Hare International Airport and inspected the airline's ramp services, cargo building, automotive shops, ticket and gate services, tower, two hangars and baggage room.

According to the agency, the airline has been cited for electrical violations, trip and fall hazards, blocked exits and improper storage of oxygen and acetylene cylinders.

American Airlines at O'Hare International Airport has been inspected 10 times since 2000, with five of the inspections resulting in citations.

Colorado: OSHA Takes a Bite Out of the Denver Zoological Foundation

OSHA cited the Denver Zoological Foundation Inc. for alleged unsafe working conditions following a fatal accident where an employee was mauled by a jaguar at the Denver Zoo on Feb. 24.

A citation issued to the organization by OSHA's Denver area office alleges one serious violation of the Occupational Safety and Health Act for failure to provide appropriate protocols to prevent inadvertent contact with dangerous animals. The citation carries a proposed penalty of $3,500.

Ashlee Pfaff, 27, died from a broken neck and other injuries after she was attacked by a jaguar. Zoo officials said they might never know why Pfaff was killed, as she was the only staff person in the building when the incident occured. Zoo policies forbid employees from opening the doors of or entering enclosures when the big cats are inside. Pfaff apparently entered the jaguar's enclosure from a service area. It is not known if she knew the cat was inside.

Missouri: OSHA Cites Grain Facility After Double Fatality

OSHA has cited the Ray-Carroll County Grain Growers' grain storage and farm supply cooperative in Carrollton, Mo., for safety violations following a double fatality at the facility in February, with proposed totaling $189,000.

According to Charles Adkins, OSHA's regional administrator in Kansas City, the two employees were working on a grain pile to break up clots to assist grain flow through a ground-level grate when they were suffocated after being engulfed by the grain.

The company was cited for various alleged willful violations, some of which include failure to train employees to manage hazards and failing to provide a lifeline or alternative means for employees working around stored grain.

Georgia: OSHA Cites Poultry Processor

Koch Foods of Cumming, Ga., has been cited by OSHA for 34 alleged serious and repeat violations and the agency has proposed $253,500 in penalties.

A joint safety and health inspection was conducted as part of OSHA's Site-Specific Targeting Program, which targets the nation's most hazardous workplaces for inspection based on their histories of having high numbers of injuries and illnesses.

“The large proposed penalty for the plant reflects management's continued failure to meet OSHA's standards for the safety and health of its employees,” said Gei-Thae Breezley, director of the agency's Atlanta East Area Office. “When we inspected this plant in 2004, we found many of these same violations, and our current inspection showed that this plant has not made sufficient effort to correct them.”

PA: Uniontown Company Cited for Continued S&H Hazards

OSHA has proposed $166,400 in fines against Shane Felter Industries Inc. for multiple alleged workplace safety and health violations. The Uniontown, Pa., company fabricates and paints steel beams used in bridge and road construction has 62 employees.

OSHA initially selected Shane Felter for inspection after reviewing the company's occupational injury and illness data. The inspection later was expanded to follow up on previously cited hazards that had not been abated.

OSHA issued one willful citation, with a proposed penalty of $56,000, alleging that the company did not repair or replace defective parts to ensure the safe operation of overhead cranes.

Sixteen repeat violations, with proposed penalties of $67,200, were issued for violations involving crane operators, forklift operations, hazardous materials, obstructed exits and other hazards.

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