Company fined $50,820 for repeat and serious safety violations

OSHA accuses company of exposing workers to excessive noise, respiratory hazards at manufacturing facility.
Norwalk Reflector Staff
Jul 19, 2014

 

Miami Valley Polishing has been cited for continuing to expose workers to excessive noise levels at its Piqua metal polishing plant following a January 2014 inspection. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration previously cited the company in 2013 for the same violation. OSHA has proposed fines of $50,820 for the two repeat and three serious violations cited.

“Miami Valley Polishing continues to struggle with its responsibility to protect the health of its workers,” said Bill Wilkerson, OSHA’s area director in Cincinnati. “The company failed to establish required engineering controls for dust exposure and to provide hearing tests at least annually to evaluate occupational hearing loss.”

During the most recent inspection this year, OSHA’s investigation found the company failed to provide six  employees with annual hearing tests. Miami Valley Polishing was previously cited for this violation in October 2012.

Another repeat violation included failure to conduct training on chemical labeling. The employer was previously cited for a similar violation in October 2012. 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 facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years.

Serious violations of OSHA’s respiratory protection standards were found, including overexposing workers to dust and failure to establish a written respiratory protection program for employees using dust mask respirators. The company lacked controls to reduce dust exposure for workers polishing metal parts. Additionally, an energized 120-volt circuit panel had a missing cover, exposing workers to electrical shock hazards.

An OSHA violation is serious if death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard an employer knew or should have known exists.

Miami Valley Polishing has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and 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 Cincinnati Area Office at 513-841-4132.

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, click HERE.