Company Settles, Cited for Failure to Protect Against Power Press Hazards

Oct. 3, 2002
Greif Bros. Corp., headquartered in Delaware, Ohio, agreed to a corporate-wide settlement with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to abate safety hazards relating to power presses at its facilities nationwide.

The citations involved the company's Houston Specialty Drum Plant in La Porte, Tex., which produces metal drums and steel pails. The company was cited for 17 violations, all of which concerned mechanical power presses, with a total penalty of $669,500. Citations were issued for failure to protect employees from malfunctioning friction brakes and potentially malfunctioning equipment as a result of not performing mechanical power press inspections, making repairs or testing before operation. Exposure to power press hazards can result in amputations, lacerations and crushed limbs.

The company operates at 185 locations in over 40 countries and employs over 10,000 workers, including more than 700 who work at facilities using press brakes that will be directly affected by the agreement.

"I am pleased that we were able to reach a corporate-wide agreement that will result in a safety and health program to protect employees against the hazards associated with power presses," said Assistant Secretary of Labor John Henshaw. "This case demonstrates that OSHA is exercising strong enforcement in appropriate circumstances."

Greif Bros. agreed to abate all hazards detailed in the citations at all its plants nationwide. The company will also initiate hazard awareness/recognition training in English, Spanish and any other language necessary to ensure comprehension for employees who are likely to operate power presses. The company also agreed to inspect all power presses at least weekly.

Greif Bros. will also have safety and health audits of its facilities conducted by a third-party auditor and will take corrective action where hazards are identified. OSHA has the authority to make unannounced monitoring visits during the audit and corrective action schedules. In addition, the company will establish and maintain a system to address employee safety and health concerns, train its managers in handling safety and health matters, and more effectively communicate safety and health issues to employees.

The citations resulted from an OSHA inspection initiated on April 4, 2002, as a result of an employee complaint.

About the Author

Sandy Smith

Sandy Smith is the former content director of EHS Today, and is currently the EHSQ content & community lead at Intelex Technologies Inc. She has written about occupational safety and health and environmental issues since 1990.

Sponsored Recommendations

Free Webinar: ISO 45001 – A Commitment to Occupational Health, Safety & Personal Wellness

May 30, 2024
Secure a safer and more productive workplace using proven Management Systems ISO 45001 and ISO 45003.

ISO 45003 – Psychological Health and Safety at Work

May 30, 2024
ISO 45003 offers a comprehensive framework to expand your existing occupational health and safety program, helping you mitigate psychosocial risks and promote overall employee...

DH Pace, national door and dock provider, reduces TRIR and claims with EHS solution

May 29, 2024
Find out how DH Pace moved from paper/email/excel to an EHS platform, changing their culture. They reduced TRIR from 4.8 to 1.46 and improved their ability to bid on and win contracts...

Case Study: Improve TRIR from 4+ to 1 with EHS Solution and Safety Training

May 29, 2024
Safety training and EHS solutions improve TRIR for Complete Mechanical Services, leading to increased business. Moving incidents, training, and other EHS procedures into the digital...

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of EHS Today, create an account today!