Fire Log Manufacturer Feels OSHA's Heat After Worker's Burning

OSHA is proposing $217,500 in penalties against Hearthmark LLC, doing business as Jarden Home Brands, for safety violations at its Birmingham, Ala., location. The Dareville, Ind.-based company, which has additional facilities in North Carolina, Texas, California, and Ontario. The manufactures fire logs under the Pine Mountain, Java-Log, and Starter Logg brands.

The agency's inspection began in July 2009, after an employee was burned when hot wax he was transferring from a railcar erupted. The investigation, including an evaluation for combustible dust, was expanded to all areas of the Birmingham facility when inspectors observed a number of safety hazards during their initial walk through.

OSHA has cited the company with two willful violations with a proposed penalty of $110,000 for failing to develop and use specific lockout/tagout (of accidental energy start-up) procedures for workers engaged in servicing and performing maintenance activities and housekeeping issues related to the accumulation of combustible dust.

The company also is being cited for 31 serious safety violations with $107,500 in proposed penalties. The violations include failing to establish and implement procedures for employees transferring wax from railcars to holding tanks; unguarded platforms; fixed stairs not having standard guard rails; lack of machine guarding; numerous electrical hazards (including unapproved electrical equipment being used in areas containing combustible dust); not filling required permits for confined spaces; belts, pulleys, and shafts not being guarded; and failing to utilize restraint systems on powered industrial trucks.

"OSHA determined that this company is fully aware of the deficiencies it has in its safety program and what needs to be changed to provide safe work conditions for employees but hasn't acted to correct those deficiencies," said Roberto Sanchez, director of OSHA's Birmingham Area Office.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, ask for an informal meeting, or indicate that it plans to contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The site was inspected by staff from OSHA's Birmingham office.

Product Showcase

  • The MGC Simple Plus

    The MGC Simple Plus is a simple-to-use, portable multi gas detector that runs continuously for three years without being recharged or routinely calibrated after its initial charge and calibration during manufacturing. The detector reliably tests a worksite’s atmosphere for hydrogen sulfide, carbon monoxide, oxygen and combustible gases (LEL). Its durability enables the detector to withstand the harshest treatment and environments, hence earning it an IP 68 rating. The MGC Simple Plus is also compatible with a variety of accessories, such as the GCT External Pump. Visit gascliptech.com for more information. 3

  • SwabTek® Cannabis Test Kit

    The SwabTek® Cannabis Test Kit is a single-use spot test designed for use in screening for cannabis compounds in any sample type or on any surface. The test is capable of identifying the presumed presence of cannabinoids in very small quantities, with a level of detection as little as 6 μg in mass. Learn more about the SwabTek® Cannabis Test Kit and the rest of SwabTek surface drug testing solutions through the webinar titled "Everything You Want To Know About Surface Testing" 3

  • SlateSafety BAND V2

    SlateSafety BAND V2

    SlateSafety's BAND V2 is the most rugged, easy-to-use connected safety wearable to help keep your workforce safe and help prevent heat stress. Worn on the upper arm, this smart PPE device works in tandem with the SlateSafety V2 system and the optional BEACON V2 environmental monitor. It includes comprehensive, enterprise-grade software that provides configurable alert thresholds, real-time alerts, data, and insights into your safety program's performance all while ensuring your data is secure and protected. Try it free for 30 days. 3

Featured

Webinars