Safety and OSHA News

Company fined $1.3M, named Severe Violator for variety of willful, serious violations

OSHA fined an Ohio metal heat treatment company more than $1 million for a variety of willful and serious violations and placed it in the Severe Violator Enforcement Program. 

Inspectors found that the company exposed employees to atmospheric, thermal, electrical and mechanical hazards as they performed maintenance inside heat-treating furnaces.

Fine: $1,326,367

Company: Dowa THT America Inc., Bowling Green, OH

Business: Metal heat treating company

Reasons for fine: 

12 willful violations for failure to:

  • implement procedures necessary for safe confined space entry
  • ensure that atmospheric hazards are controlled while employees work in confined spaces
  • provide employees with atmospheric testing equipment when entering confined spaces
  • evaluate atmospheric conditions in confined spaces
  • document completion of safe confined space entry via permit
  • provide at least one attendant outside confined spaces during employee operations
  • train employees on confined spaces
  • train employees on hazardous energy sources
  • develop procedures for the control of potentially hazardous energy
  • train employees on electrical safety
  • employ practices to prevent electric shock
  • provide employees with electrical PPE

One repeat violation for failure to:

  • electronically submit OSHA Form 300A Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses

21 serious violations for failure to:

  • provide employees with guardrail, safety net or personal fall arrest systems when working 4 feet above lower levels
  • post signs regarding dangers of confined spaces
  • specify acceptable entry conditions of confined spaces
  • protect employees against falling through chute floor holes
  • store flammable liquids in excess of 120 gallons in flammable liquid storage cabinet
  • ensure 55-gallon drum of flammable liquid is properly grounded while being dispensed into equipment
  • develop and implement emergency response plan
  • train employees how to respond to hazardous material releases
  • train employees on first aid procedures associated with hazardous materials they are exposed to
  • provide eye-wash stations and emergency showers close to work area
  • provide employees with appropriate first-aid supplies in areas where chemical burn hazards are present
  • provide employees with proper PPE
  • perform PPE hazard assessment
  • train employees on PPE use
  • ensure employees use appropriate eye and face protection
  • train employees on lockout/tagout program
  • include proper sequence of actions in lockout/tagout procedures
  • use proper machine guarding
  • develop and implement hazard communication program
  • ensure hazardous chemical containers are properly labeled
  • train employees on hazardous chemicals in their work area

Note: Several of the willful violations were issued multiple times for each furnace where a violation was found.

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