Texas Companies Rack Up OSHA Penalties

Three Texas companies are facing federal penalties totaling more than $277,000 for failing to provide safe environments for their employees. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited and fined CPE Feeds Inc. in Lubbock, JFM International Inc. in Willis and Subfloor Systems Inc. in Hurst for workplace hazards and safety violations.

OSHA identified 22 violations at CPE Feeds, which manufactures feed and sells used agricultural machinery for processing feed. The violations include: lack of guarding on machines; exposed energized wires; lack of guarding on runways and platforms; lack of handrails on stairwells, welding cylinders not properly stored, fire extinguishers not kept in designated locations, using flexible cords as fixed wiring, and not providing hearing protection. OSHA has proposed $83,059 in penalties against CPE Feeds.

In September, OSHA investigated JFM International’s facility after receiving complaints from an employee. Investigators found machines with exposed rotating parts lacking safeguards to protect against amputation or serious injury. Workers were also overexposed to noise which can lead to hearing loss. OSHA cited the company for three serious health violations, including not protecting employees from electrical and flammable chemical hazards and failing to record a workplace injury. JFM International faces proposed penalties totaling $107,952.

Subfloor Systems Inc. is a flooring subcontractor in the Dallas area. OSHA found that the company was exposing workers to dangerous falls at a construction site. During a site visit in September, OSHA investigators observed a Subfloor Systems’ foreman and other employees working without fall protection at the construction site of a commercial building. The agency cited the company with one willful violation for exposing workers to potential falls. In January 2016, OSHA had previously cited the company with a willful violation following an investigation into an employee’s serious injury after falling 22 feet. The proposed OSHA penalties against Subfloor Systems total $87,297.

All three companies have 15 days following the date of the citations to comply or protest the citations and penalties.

Source:  Insurance Journal 12/9/16 and OSHA.

Source: Industry News