OSHA Blasts W.Va. Welding Firm for 25 Safety Violations

"Workers at this welding shop are left vulnerable to hazards that could cause serious injuries or even death," said Prentice Cline, director of OSHA's Charleston Area Office.

OSHA has cited Mollett Welding and Mine Service Inc. after an inspection at its welding and machine shop facility in Stollings, W.Va., revealed 25 violations of safety and health standards. Proposed penalties total $59,400.

Twenty-two serious violations, carrying $58,800 in penalties, involve failing to provide a written respiratory program; develop a hazard communication program; provide medical evaluations for workers required to wear respirators and ensure they were fit-tested and clean-shaven; evaluate and identify respiratory hazards; provide clean, orderly places of employment; ensure use of approved electrical equipment in a spray area; remove rags and combustible materials from the spray area; post "no smoking" signs; conduct a personal protective equipment hazard assessment; ensure employees wore eye protection when exposed to metal shavings; utilize energy control procedures and conduct periodic inspections; provide training for employees on lockout procedures to prevent machinery from unexpectedly starting up; provide employees with first-aid training and adequate supplies; ensure fire extinguishers were mounted, readily accessible and fully charged; conduct fire extinguisher training; and ensure stored material was stable and secure.

The violations also include the company's failure to remove damaged slings, inspect slings daily, properly guard machines and adjust equipment, ensure compressed air used for cleaning was reduced to less than 30 per square inch, ensure valve protection caps were in place when compressed gas cylinders were not in use, store oxygen and acetylene cylinders in separate places, provide functional and legibly marked electrical equipment, ensure access around electrical equipment was clear, close unused openings in electrical boxes, ensure an extension cord had a ground pin, place an outer cover on a junction box, replace a damaged receptacle, and ensure use of permanent wiring in lieu of an extension cord.

Three other-than-serious violations, carrying $600 in penalties, were cited for incomplete OSHA 300A injury and illness forms, not posting a load capacity sign for an overhead storage area, and a lack of hot or tepid running water in a bathroom.

"Workers at this welding shop are left vulnerable to hazards that could cause serious injuries or even death," said Prentice Cline, director of OSHA's Charleston Area Office. "This company should immediately address the cited violations to ensure its employees have a safe and healthful work environment."

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