OSHA Busts Ohio Manufacturer for 55 Safety Violations

Safety and health violations include inadequate lockout/tagout programs, fall protection, and noise sampling, among others. Proposed penalties total $174,600.

OSHA has cited Hobart Brothers Co., a manufacturer of welding wire and ground power equipment for airplanes in Troy, Ohio, with a total of 55 safety and health violations including inadequate lockout/tagout programs, fall protection, and noise sampling, among others. Proposed penalties total $174,600.

OSHA opened an inspection under the agency's Site-Specific Targeting program, which focuses on companies with injury and illness rates that exceed national standards. Hobart Brothers' injury and illness rate in 2008 was 5.9 percent per 100 workers, and in 2009 it was 6 percent per 100. The 2008 national average was 3.9, and the 2009 average was 3.6.

Thirty-one serious safety violations with penalties of $121,500 involve failing to guard floor holes, provide adequate railings, unlock exit doors, isolate energy sources, guard machines, provide fall protection for workers required to be on the top of ovens, provide lockout/tagout procedures for the energy sources of equipment, train workers on hazardous energy sources, use and install equipment in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations, and provide appropriate personal protective equipment for employees performing energized electrical work.

Twelve serious health violations with penalties of $51,300 involve failing to sample noise levels, provide annual audiograms, train workers on hazard communication, and provide confined space evaluations.

Seven other-than-serious safety violations with no monetary penalties involve failing to store combustible rags in a covered metal receptacle, properly mark exit doors, and train workers on fire hazards. Five other-than-serious health violations with proposed penalties of $1,800 were cited for failing to properly record injuries and illnesses as well as post noise standards.

"Failing to develop and implement procedures to control hazardous energy and to provide fall protection exposes workers to amputations, falls, and many other hazards while demonstrating this employer's lack of regard for workers' safety and health," said Bill Wilkerson, OSHA's area director in Cincinnati. "OSHA is committed to protecting workers on the job, especially when employers fail to do so."

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