OSHA fines are one thing. But imagine being shut down because of a safety violation. In this case, it was lack of machine guards.
California’s Labor Enforcement Task Force (LETF) issued stop-work orders to two garment businesses that had industrial equipment without the proper machine guards.
Vinh Loi Inc., a garment contractor with two locations in El Monte, had an industrial fabric cutter with improper guards to the cutting blade, the belt and the pulley.
Vin Loi is also under investigation for labor law issues including cash pay and overtime as well as possible payroll tax violations. The company faces an audit to further investigate possible labor law violations.
Kinary Inc., a denim washing business in El Monte, had 9 of its 11 industrial washers removed from service by Cal/OSHA until the proper machine guards in the belt and pulley workings on the washers are reinstalled.
Two of the same washers weren’t equipped with interlocks to prevent movement of the washer drums while the door is open.
At another denim washing shop in Los Angeles in July 2011, a worker was crushed to death after falling into an open, operating washing machine with missing interlocks.
The LETF was formed to combat the underground economy and improve California’s business environment. It includes investigations by Cal/OSHA.
Skirting income taxes, not carrying workers’ compensation insurance, failing to provide required workplace safeguards and paying employees less than what they are owed are common practices of underground businesses, according to California officials.
Some other examples of companies forced to cease operations because of safety problems:
- work was ordered stopped at a construction site where heavy rain had made ground too unstable, and
- transportation companies are shut down when federal authorities find severe safety violations.