OSHA: Safety Hazards Endanger Employees at Mississippi Plant

Failing to protect employees from safety and health hazards at a Lumberton, Miss., plant may cost Custom Precast Products Inc. $87,750 in penalties according to OSHA.

Failing to protect employees from safety and health hazards at a Lumberton, Miss., plant may cost Custom Precast Products Inc. $87,750 in penalties according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

OSHA inspectors visited the site, which manufactures concrete sewer products, on Oct. 30, 2001. Investigators found that the company failed to service the overhead crane regularly. When workers did perform repair work on the crane, it was not locked out to prevent it from starting inadvertently during the maintenance operation. OSHA cited Custom Precast for two willful violations of safety standards and proposed penalties totaling $66,000.

"This employer showed intentional disregard for worker safety by placing employees in danger of being hit or crushed by overhead crane equipment while performing normal maintenance and repair services," said Clyde Payne, OSHA's Jackson, Miss., area director. "There is no excuse for failing to protect workers, particularly when company officials are aware of OSHA's lockout/tagout procedures."

Twenty-one additional safety and health violations were found, with penalties totaling $21,750 for serious hazardous conditions, defined as those that the employer knew, or should have known, could result in injury or death.

The serious citations included: a distance between ladder rungs of more than 12 inches; employees making repairs to a crane from a backhoe's elevated bucket; training not provided to forklift operators; locks not provided for a lockout/tagout program; no inspection program for cranes; using a crane with defective brakes; storage of unsecured, combustible oxygen and acetylene cylinders together; failing to provide weatherproof enclosures for electrical panels, and no written hazard communication program.

Custom Precast Products Inc., which employs 42 workers at the Lumberton facility, has 15 working days to contest OSHA's citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

edited by Sandy Smith ([email protected]

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