Establishing an open-door policy for employees to bring safety problems to management’s attention can be a real cost-saver: In this case, it might have saved thousands of dollars in OSHA fines.
OSHA has cited manufacturer Hobbs Bonded Fiber in Waco, TX, with 29 serious violations and $161,100 in penalties. The safety agency inspected Hobbs last December after receiving an employee complaint about unsafe working conditions.
The violations include failing to:
- develop and implement a respiratory program
- provide training for employees entering confined spaces where an oxygen deficiency may exist
- develop a plan to avoid employee exposure to bloodborne pathogens
- provide an area for employees to wash their eyes
- ensure that compressed oxygen and acetylene gas cylinders were stored separately
- provide hazard communication training to employees working with hazardous and toxic chemicals
- adequately guard rotating belts, pulleys, chains and sprockets from pinch points and at the point of operation, and
- provide covers on junction, outlet and transformer boxes.
Hobbs has 15 business days to decide whether to contest the fines.