OSHA Cites Company Following Complaints of Unsafe Conditions

OSHA issued additional citations to Southwestern Wire Inc.,\r\nNorman, Okla., for safety violations and proposed penalties totaling\r\n$161,100.

OSHA issued additional citations to Southwestern Wire Inc., Norman, Okla., for safety violations and proposed penalties totaling $161,100.

This is the second set of penalties issued to Southwest Wire. On Jan. 3, OSHA cited the company with health citations and proposed penalties totaling $138,150.

Southwestern Wire, a non-union company employs 160 workers at the Norman site.

It is a wire fabrication facility which processes wire rod into galvanized wire and chain-link fabric.

The initial OSHA investigation began on July 5, in response to a complaint alleging unsafe conditions during an emergency response to a large spill of hydrochloric acid.

During the course of the inspection, a number of safety issues were identified and a referral was made initiating the safety inspection on Aug. 1.

The current citations issued allege the company committed three willful, five serious and three-other than serious violations.

The three willful violations were for failing to lockout/tagout required machines, one group of willful violations was for lack of specific lockout/tagout procedures, incomplete specific procedures and lack of appropriate lockout/tagout devices. The last willful violation is for a lack of machine guarding.

The five serious citations are for the unsafe work practice of lighting a gas burner in a sand furnace, the lack of an annual evaluation of the energy control procedures, the lack lockout/tagout training for employees and the lack of appropriate eye protection while welding/cutting.

The three other-than serious citations were for failing to properly mark the controls on an overhead crane, using an unapproved device to attach loads to the crane and not utilizing properly fitted closures on electrical cabinets.

Southwestern Wire has 15 days from receipt of the citations to comply or contest them.

by Virginia Sutcliffe

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