Talk about a large facility with lots of potential OSHA violations. And the agency did just that at the Hoover Dam Hydroelectric Power Plant in Nevada, issuing 58 citations.
Fifty of the violations are classified as serious, and eight are repeat.
The eight repeat violations include failing to:
- anchor a drill press
- implement proper machine guarding
- correct multiple electrical violations, and
- properly mount and maintain portable fire extinguishers.
The U.S. Department of Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation operates the power plant. That means for OSHA to classify a violation as repeat, the same or similar violation must have occurred at one of its facilities within the last five years. OSHA inspected 25 Bureau of Reclamation facilities in that time period.
The 50 serious violations include:
- fall and electrical hazards
- lack of required guard on machinery
- inadequate PPE
- lead contamination
- potential for overexposure to hexavalent chromium
- failing to properly maintain and inspect firefighting equipment, and
- insufficient lockout/tagout procedures for energy sources that could lead to amputations.
When OSHA finds violations at federally run facilities, it doesn’t issue fines.
OSHA originally found 77 violations at Hoover Dam, but some were corrected before citations were issued.
The regional chief for the Bureau of Reclamation said the agency is taking steps to ensure the violations are fixed and don’t happen again.
Hoover Dam regulates the flow of the Colorado River. The reservoir supplies almost all the drinking water for Las Vegas, which is 30 miles away. The hydropower plant provides electricity to 1.3 million homes and businesses in Arizona, California and Nevada.