A worker’s complaint brought OSHA to a Houston company. The complaint was substantiated, and OSHA found even more violations that added up to a hefty fine because the company had been cited for them before.
Piping Technology and Products’ penalties total $1,013,000.
A worker contacted OSHA to report a lack of brakes on overhead cranes and unguarded presses.
OSHA found 13 willful violations for failure to:
- guard 7 band saws, and
- lock out all of the sources of hazardous energy to 6 pieces of equipment before maintenance.
The willful citations carry the maximum penalty of $70,000 each. The violations were categorized as willful because Piping Technology had knowledge of OSHA requirements due to citations issued in 1986, 1994, 2004 and 2005 that specifically addressed the need to guard band saws.
There were also 17 serious violations, including failure to:
- guard other machines and grinders properly
- ensure openings on electrical equipment were securely closed
- provide fall protection training, and
- ensure employees wore hard hats when exposed to overhead hazards.
OSHA has placed the company in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program, which mandates follow-up inspections. The program focuses on companies that endanger workers by committing willful, repeat or failure-to-abate violations.
Piping Technology has 15 business days to decide whether to oppose the citations.
You can download the citations here (PDF).