OSHA Reinspects Site of Electrocution, Increases Fine More than 400 Percent

OSHA has issued failure-to-abate citations to JD Manufacturing Inc., doing business as Arrow Waste, for a follow-up inspection that revealed previous violations had not been abated. The company makes and repairs mechanized equipment and roll-off containers such as dumpsters, or debris containers. The initial inspection on Jan. 29, 2008, at the company's facility in Houston followed the electrocution death of a worker. Upon re-inspection on Oct. 9, 2008, OSHA's investigation found that the six violations originally cited, four alleged serious and two alleged other-than-serious, were not corrected by the company.

"The employer completely ignored abating the violations while continuing to expose employees to a hazardous working environment. That kind of practice will not be tolerated," said Dean McDaniel, OSHA's regional administrator in Dallas. "OSHA standards must be followed to prevent injuries and fatalities."

The serious failure-to-abate violations include failing to have a written program for the control of hazardous energy, not installing the required wiring in accordance with OSHA regulations, and failing to adequately mark branch circuits to indicate their purpose. A serious citation is issued when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

The other-than-serious violations the company failed to correct are not having a hazard communications program in place and not maintaining the required recordkeeping. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.

The initial inspection carried proposed penalties totaling $25,500. The re-inspection carries $108,000 in proposed penalties.

JD Manufacturing has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's Houston North area director or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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