Company hit with $139,000 in fines by OSHA

Penalties issued for repeated exposure of workers to amputation, other serious hazards.
Norwalk Reflector Staff
May 15, 2014

Kobelco Stewart Bolling Inc., which manufactures industrial machinery, has been cited for 13 safety and health violations by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Proposed penalties at the company’s Hudson facility total $139,000.

OSHA’s investigation was initiated following a worker complaint, and the investigation found repeat violations of machine guarding  standards, which protect workers from lacerations, caught-in and amputation hazards.

“Failing to protect workers from dangerous machinery is among the most frequently cited OSHA violations and injuries involving machinery and equipment often result in death or permanent disability,” said Howard Eberts, OSHA’s area director in Cleveland. “Employers who are cited for repeat violations demonstrate a lack of commitment to employee safety and health.”

Three repeat violations were cited for: inadequate lockout/tagout procedures to protect workers who service or maintain machines from moving machinery parts, exposing workers to unguarded equipment and not labeling chemical containers. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. The company was cited for similar violations in 2011.

Six serious violations involved failing to review lockout/tagout devices annually, storing flammable liquids in an exit path, lack of fire extinguisher training, not identifying and providing the correct chemical resistant gloves to be worn, and failing to train workers on personal protective equipment. An OSHA violation is serious if death or serious physical harm can result from a hazard an employer knew or should have known exists.

Kobelco Stewart Bolling was also cited for four other-than-serious violations involving failing to certify and date the workplace hazard assessment, guard machinery, inspect cranes daily and maintain a chemical inventory list.

To view the current citations, click HERE.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety & Health Review Commission.

To ask questions; obtain compliance assistance; file a complaint; or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA’s toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency’s Cleveland office at 216-447-4194. Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.