FORT WORTH, Texas -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited EICA Industries Inc. of Fort Worth for 17 serious violations for exposing workers to preventable struck-by and amputation hazards. The proposed penalty is $46,000.
OSHA's Fort Worth Area Office began an inspection in December 2013 under the agency's Regional Emphasis Program on Fabricated Metal Products*, which focuses on machinery and other serious hazards in the metal fabrication industry that can cause serious harm or death. The inspection found that workers were exposed to struck-by hazards associated with rigging and moving heavy metal with overhead cranes. Workers also were exposed to amputation hazards from a failure to provide machine guarding and for failing to develop and implement lockout/tagout procedures. During the five-year period from January 2006 through December 2011, Region VI investigated 46 fatal accidents at metal fabrication establishments, which resulted in 48 deaths.
'This employer exposed its workers to avoidable workplace hazards that can cause serious injuries and possibly death,' said Jack Rector, OSHA's area director in Fort Worth. 'Employers must recognize the hazards that exist in their workplaces and develop safety and health policies and procedures to protect workers on the job.'
The 17 serious safety violations include failing to provide required machine guarding; regularly inspect overhead cranes, hoists, hooks and slings; develop and implement lockout/tagout procedures; provide strain relief for flexible electrical cords; provide forklift training and certification; and ensure all lifting devices were inspected and rated sufficient to carry heavy materials, such as spreader bars. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
EICA Industries was also cited for three other-than-serious violations for failing to maintain the OSHA 300 log of injuries and illnesses, develop a list of chemicals in the workplace and have material safety data sheets readily available. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.
EICA Industries, which employs about 14 workers and manufactures heads or ends for pressurized tanks, has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the citations and penalties 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 Fort Worth Area Office at 817-581-7303.
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 http://www.osha.gov.