U.S. Forest Service Cited for 144 Safety Violations in Idaho

OSHA has cited the U.S. Forest Service for 51 alleged serious safety violations, 77 repeat violations and 16 other-than-serious violations at 10 locations throughout the Salmon-Challis National Forest and involving ranger districts in Salmon, Challis, North Fork, Mackay and Leadore, Idaho. The agency's inspection found serious violations involving fall hazards, emergency egress design and maintenance, machine guarding, storage of compressed gas cylinders, liquefied petroleum gas, and flammable liquids and electrical hazards. In addition, OSHA cited the supervisor's office for a broad spectrum of deficiencies in its agency-required safety and health program. A serious citation is issued when death or serious physical harm is likely to result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

OSHA previously cited USFS for violations at other sites in Idaho, including restricted exit access, lack of machine guarding, fire extinguisher maintenance, and electrical hazards. OSHA issues repeat citations when an employer previously has been cited for similar hazards and those citations have become final.

The other-than-serious violations include recordkeeping, hazard communication, personal protective equipment, and electrical issues. An other-than-serious violation is a hazardous condition that would probably not cause death or serious physical harm but would have an immediate relationship to the safety and health of employees.

"Federal agencies are required by executive order to comply with OSHA standards and must promptly abate unsafe working conditions," said Richard S. Terrill, regional administrator for OSHA in Seattle. "These citations put the U.S. Forest Service on notice that improvements need to be made."

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