Pipe Maker Penalized for Slew of Safety Violations

"The safety of this company's employees is compromised due to management's failure to perform maintenance and take common-sense steps to prevent injuries," said Roberto Sanchez, director of OSHA's area office in Birmingham.

OSHA has cited U.S. Pipe and Foundry Co. for 27 safety violations at its Bessemer, Ala., manufacturing plant. Proposed penalties total $85,000.

Sixteen serious violations with $76,000 in penalties involve allowing water on the floor near machinery and without needed drainage, an uneven floor surface that had gaps, an uncovered hole in the floor, four instances in which machinery lacked guards, a control panel for a grinder that was not marked, stairs that were missing an intermediate railing, steps that were damaged, an unsecure scaffold platform, a scaffold plank that was improperly set on a scaffold, a crane that was not marked with its rated load capacity, and drums containing chemicals that were not labeled. Furthermore, an employee was observed operating a forklift without using a seat belt, and forklifts were operated that did not have working flashing lights or alarm signals for backing up.

Eleven other-than-serious violations with penalties of $9,000 involve failing to record work-related injuries in 2008, 2009, and 2010 in the OSHA log; correctly record restricted injury and days away from work information in 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011; inspect a fire extinguisher at least monthly; and inspect energy control procedures annually.

"The safety of this company's employees is compromised due to management's failure to perform maintenance and take common-sense steps to prevent injuries," said Roberto Sanchez, director of OSHA's area office in Birmingham. "OSHA will not tolerate this kind of blatant disregard for workers' well-being."

U.S. Pipe and Foundry produces iron pipes used in the water and wastewater industries.

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