Safety and OSHA News

Manufacturer faces $320K fine for exposing employees to amputation and other hazards

OSHA has cited Sabel Steel Service Inc., based in Montgomery, AL, for exposing employees to amputation, fall and other hazards at four of its facilities. 

The penalties add up to $320,261 – $269,043 in serious violations and $51,218 in repeat violations (there were also other-than-serious violations issued for which no monetary penalties were issued).

OSHA conducted separate inspections at the company’s facilities in:

  • Montgomery, AL, ($139,027 in fines)
  • Dothan, AL, ($100,613)
  • Theodore, AL, ($12,085), and
  • Newman, GA, ($67,816).

OSHA cited the company for:

  • exposing employees to amputation hazards
  • failing to use safety procedures to control the release of hazardous energy during machine maintenance or servicing
  • failing to provide fall protection
  • failing to conduct medical evaluations to determine an employee’s ability to use a respirator
  • improperly storing oxygen, propane and acetylene cylinders, and
  • electrical and fire hazards.

The inspections were part of OSHA’s National Emphasis Program on Amputations. The program’s purpose is to identify and to reduce workplace machinery and equipment hazards which are causing or likely to cause amputations. This inspection program runs through Sept. 30, 2019 and could be extended.

Mechanical components that present amputation hazards include:

  • point of operation
  • power-transmission apparatuses, and
  • other moving parts, such as reciprocating, rotating and transverse moving parts.

“Employers are required to conduct regular assessments of their workplaces to identify safety hazards that can put employees at risk for serious or fatal injuries,” said OSHA Mobile, AL, Area Office Director Joseph Roesler.

Sabel Steel Service has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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