April 1, 2010
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has proposed penalties of $100,000 or more for the following recent alleged failures to

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has proposed penalties of $100,000 or more for the following recent alleged failures to protect workers from potential hazards, including many that could have been avoided or mitigated by personal protective equipment (PPE). Companies have 15 business days from receipt of citations and fines to request and participate in informal conferences with OSHA or to contest the citations before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission:

  • CES Environmental Services, $1,477,500 for willful and serious citations, mainly involving the presence of flammable and combustible vapors, after an investigation into a fatal explosion at the company facility in Houston, Texas. In July 2009, an employee cleaning a tank was killed in an explosion when an altered a piece of equipment ignited flammable vapors inside the tank. Other citations involved failure to provide proper respiratory protection, confined space equipment and adequate fall protection.

  • Three subsidiaries of Mueller Industries, Inc., Memphis, Tenn., $683,000 for 128 citations at three facilities after an investigation into an incident at Mueller Copper Tube Co., Inc., Fulton, Miss.; a maintenance worker was killed and two others injured when naphtha leaked from an electric pump and ignited. Serious citations included fall hazards, and failure to establish a respiratory protection program.

  • C.A. Franc, Valencia, Pa., $539,000 after an investigation into the death of a roofing worker who fell 40 feet at a Washington, Pa., worksite. Owner Christopher A. Franc was cited for 10 per-instance willful citations for failing to protect workers from falls.

  • CITGO Refining and Chemicals LP, Corpus Christi, Texas, $236,500 for safety violations after an inspection of a catastrophic release of hydrocarbon and hydrofluoric acid at the facility; most citations resulted from failing to adequately repair and maintain process equipment.

  • Home Goods, $233,500 for 16 violations mainly involving exit access, fire and crushing hazards at its Commack, N.Y., store; OSHA had responded to an employee complaint.

  • Hearthmark LLC, Dareville, Ind., doing business as Jarden Home Brands, $217,500 in penalties at its Birmingham, Ala., location, mainly for violations involving lockout/tag-out procedures. The company makes fire logs under several brand names.

  • Bullins Painting, Eden, N.C., $187,500 following an inspection into the Aug. 7, 2009, death of a worker who fell 90 feet from a municipal water tower the company was painting in Epping, N.H. OSHA found that Bullins failed to provide the worker with fall protection.

  • L. Perrina Construction Co. Inc., Methuen, Mass., $166,950 after OSHA found employees at two Massachusetts worksites exposed to cave-in hazards while working in trenches more than six feet deep.

  • Endres Processing LLC, $137,250 following an inspection that identified fire and explosion hazards from combustible dust at the company's Kansas City, Kan., operation that recycles inedible food products by milling them into feed for pigs and chickens.

  • Birdsong Corp., Suffolk, Va., $137,250 for 41 safety violations uncovered at company facilities in Sylvester and Blakely, Ga.; the inspection followed a fatality in which a worker was caught in a conveyor belt at the Blakely peanut operation.

  • Atlanta Intown Granite Co., Atlanta, $133,875 for continuing to expose employees to health hazards, mainly excess amounts of silica by not fully implementing a respiratory protection program, more than a year after OSHA had cited the company for similar violations.

  • O.S. Interior Systems Inc., Houston, Texas, $112,000 for safety violations following a fatality at a company worksite in Houston; the employee made contact with a live wire and died.

  • Mustang Engineering L.P., Houston, Texas, $112,500 for exposing workers to hazards during the construction of gas pipeline meter stations in Mississippi.

Contempt Orders Issued against St. Louis Employer for Ignoring OSHA Citations

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit has issued contempt of court orders against Brian Andre, former owner of Andre Tuckpointing and Brickwork (AT&B), Andre Stone and Mason Work, Inc. (AS&MW), and Regina Shaw, owner of AS&MW, all of St. Louis, for failing to comply with court orders enforcing citations of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (OSHRC).

The cases stem from numerous citations OSHA issued to AT&B and its successor, AS&MW, for willful, repeat and serious violations related to fall hazards, scaffolding erection deficiencies, power tool guarding and other hazards in connection with multiple projects in St. Louis. The court imposed sanctions, including payment by Brian Andrew, AS&MW and Regina Shaw of outstanding monetary penalties, which will continue to accrue interest, and other miscellaneous fees, in the current amount of $258,582.

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