$112,000 Fine for Lacking Fall Protection
OSHA's fines against U.S. Minerals LLC for the alleged violations at its Baldwin, Ill., plant total $158,200, mostly for having no fall protection on elevated platforms. Don't miss Wednesday's OH&S fall protection webinar.
OSHA's Aug. 5 announcement of $158,200 in fines against U.S. Minerals LLC of Dyer, Ind., is the latest six-figures-or-higher penalty assessed by the agency. This one against the manufacturer of abrasive blasting materials, including coal slag, followed an inspection of its Baldwin, Ill., plant that began in February. OSHA said $112,000 of the fines, and willful and repeat violations, were issued for alleged failure to provide fall protection on platforms more than 30 feet off the ground. Lockout/tagout violations also were included.
This has been a big year for fall protection regulations, consensus standards, and enforcement. OSHA proposed changes in its standard on walking-working surfaces to reduce same-level fall fatalities, and the proposal includes requirements to provide fall protection PPE. On Aug. 11, OH&S will present a free, live webinar about recent changes in the Z359 fall protection code, featuring Kevin Denis, training manager and project coordinator for Gravitec Systems Inc. Visit this page to register for it.
OSHA said it inspected the same Baldwin plant of U.S. Minerals LLC in 2007, and the company received 18 citations at that time. "There is no excuse for a company to disregard the safety and welfare of its workers by not following OSHA safety standards," said OSHA Area Director Nick Walters in Fairview Heights, Ill. "Those who ignore safe practices and OSHA regulations are inviting tragedy into the lives of their workers."