Safety and OSHA News

Half-million in OSHA fines – violations include combustible dust problems

OSHA has issued $477,900 in fines to Alfa Laval Inc. for 50 violations at its Broken Arrow, OK, plant. OSHA says the company has failed “to make needed changes to its safety program.” 

Investigators found 5 repeat and 45 serious violations. The repeat violations carry a $218,500 penalty, and the serious ones total $259,400.

The repeat violations include:

  • lack of a written respiratory protection program
  • lockout/tagout procedures not developed
  • lack of machine guarding, and
  • oxygen cylinders not sufficiently separated from combustible materials.

The serious violations include:

  • a General Duty Clause violation for combustible dust
  • no ventilation in paint storage
  • sprinklers missing in spray booths
  • spraying areas not kept clean of combustible residues
  • various respirator violations
  • lack of safety training on chemicals labels
  • missing eyewash stations
  • lack of implementation of a hazard communication program
  • missing safety data sheets
  • work areas not kept in clean, sanitary condition
  • defective ladders not taken out of service
  • exit routes not free of obstructions
  • exits not clearly marked
  • no emergency action plan in writing
  • personal protective equipment assessment not done
  • lack of eye and face protection
  • lack of an evaluation of permit-required confined space
  • fire extinguishers not readily accessible
  • lack of powered industrial truck training, and
  • extension cords used instead of fixed, permanent wiring.

OSHA has also placed Alfa Laval in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program which requires follow-up inspections.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA or contest the findings to the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Alfa Laval is a global provider of heat transfer, centrifugal separation and fluid handling products. The company had reported sales of $4.2 billion in 2014 and serves industries that produce food and beverages, chemicals and petrochmiecals, pharmaceuticals, starch, sugar, and ethanol. It employs about 220 people at its Broken Arrow plant.

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