Want to see a five-figure OSHA fine balloon into a six-figure one? This company did after it violated the terms of a settlement agreement, according to the agency.
OSHA has fined Formed Fiber Technologies LLC of Sidney, Ohio, $816,500 for 14 citations including providing false documentation and making false representations about abatement of previous violations.
OSHA cited the company for 11 violations in October 2013 for hazards involving machine guarding. Formed Fiber entered into a settlement agreement with OSHA which included the abatement of hazards and a $69,000 penalty.
The company provided abatement documentation to OSHA in December 2013.
As part of a follow-up inspection in January under the Severe Violators Enforcement Program, OSHA found hazards hadn’t been corrected as stated in the documentation.
So this time around, OSHA categorized all the violations against the company as either failure to abate, willful or repeat, all of which carry potential $70,000 fines for each instance.
The failure to abate ($70,000) was for operation of machinery that wasn’t guarded to prevent employees from having part of their body in the danger zone.
Former Fiber also received nine willful citations ($630,000), including ones for:
- failing to prevent the startup of multiple hydraulic thermoforming presses, laminator machines and robot cells while workers were performing set-up, service and maintenance inside the machines
- failing to develop proper lockout/tagout procedures, and
- encouraging workers to use unsafe methods to stop machines for maintenance.
Four repeat violations ($116,500) were also cited for:
- failing to train workers on how to properly stop machines before service and maintenance, which continuously exposed machine operators to laceration, amputation, burns and having parts of the machine strike or crush them, and
- failing to have identifying information on devices to indicate hazards.
“Formed Fiber Technologies apparently decided that production was more important than ensuring its workers’ safety,” said OSHA administrator David Michaels.
The company has been inspected by OSHA 16 times at their facilities nationwide, resulting in 80 violations.
Formed Fiber has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA or contest the findings before the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.