OSHA Cites Houston Manufacturer for Failure to Correct Hazards Leading to Employee Injury

OSHA Cites Houston Manufacturer for Failure to Correct Hazards Leading to Employee Injury

Air Starter Components Inc. faces a total of $298,250 in proposed penalties.

Air Starter Components Inc.—which manufactures and services air starters and other engine parts—now faces a total of $298,250 in proposed penalties following an OSHA investigation.

In a release dated August 31, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced the Stafford, Texas-based company was cited for failing to correct safety hazards that resulted in an incident that cost an employee their finger. In March 2022, one of the company’s workers caught their hand in a polishing machine that lacked the necessary machine safety guards.

OSHA inspectors returned to Air Starter Components Inc. in March 2023, and the investigation resulted in two repeat violations for not properly adjusting bench grinders and not posting 2022 OSHA injury and illness logs as required. Overall, OSHA proposed penalties of $127,187 following the conclusion of its investigation, which uncovered a variety of violations.

Fourteen serious violations were identified, including hazards related to a spray booth, unguarded projected shaft ends, belts and pulleys on a horizontal lathe and air compressors operating at more than 30 pounds per square inch. Additionally, electrical equipment was used beyond its safe limits and without proper grounding, electrical wires were exposed, and extension cords were used instead of required permanent wiring.

Furthermore, the agency issued an additional $171,063 in penalties for failing to abate the 2022 violations. Air Starter Components Inc. did not correct the hazards identified in the previous inspection and did not include a 2022 recordable injury on its OSHA 300 log. Despite entering into an agreement with OSHA to address its violations, the company did not provide any abatement documentation. This brought the total proposed penalties to $298,250.

“Rather than correcting the hazards we identified in 2022, Air Starter Components was still operating equipment without required safety guards and doing so resulted in another worker suffering a debilitating injury,” OSHA Area Director Mark Briggs in Houston said in a statement. “Complying with safety standards is not optional. Employers who fail to follow required procedures will be held accountable.”

About the Author

Robert Yaniz Jr. is the Content Editor of Occupational Health & Safety.

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