"Safety and health standards are designed to protect workers," said Peggy Zweber, OSHA's area director in Peoria. "This company ran the risk of harming its employees from hazards it had been told to correct after an inspection early in 2002."
OSHA's earlier inspection, which began at Total Process Control on Feb. 2, 2002 in response to a complaint, led to numerous alleged safety and health violations, ranging from unguarded machinery to lack of required safety and health programs. After repeated requests for documentation from the company to show how these problems had been addressed, OSHA began a follow-up inspection on Nov. 21.
As a result of the second inspection, the agency issued three citations alleging failure to abate safety and health violations from the February inspection and two citations for alleged repeat violations of standards for which the company had been cited previously.
The repeat violations involved a lack of medical evaluations to determine the ability of employees to wear respirators and lack of workplace assessments to determine the proper selection and use of personal protective equipment.
The failure to abate violations cited the firm for an inadequate respiratory protection program, lack of portable fire extinguisher training, improper use of fire extinguishers and lack of hazard communication training for exposed employees.
Repeat violations are issued when employers were cited for substantially similar conditions, and the citations have become final orders of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. Employers receive "failure to abate" citations when they have not corrected violations by the period of time required in earlier OSHA citations they have received.
Total Process Control develops processes for use in the manufacture of process piping, structural steel, electrical controls and skid mounted pre-assembled modules. The company has 15 working days from the receipt of the citations to contest the citations and proposed penalties with the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission or to request an informal conference with the OSHA area director.