Case Farms Processing ignores dangers, cited with 55 violations

Production of white meatWINESBURG, Ohio — For employees at a leading supplier of chicken to national fast food and supermarket brands, the dangers of amputation, electrocution and hazardous falls are all in a day’s work, and part of their employer’s long history of violating federal worker safety and health standards.

An OSHA investigation of an Ohio poultry processing facility operated by Case Farms Processing Inc. found that the company was aware of the dangers, but continued to expose workers to serious and potentially fatal injuries. Acting on a referral, OSHA cited the company for two willful, 20 repeat, 30 serious and three other-than-serious safety and health violations. OSHA assessed $861,500 in penalties and added the company to the agency’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program.

“Case Farms is an outrageously dangerous place to work. In the past 25 years, Case Farms has been cited for more than 350 safety and health violations,” said Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and Health. “Despite committing to OSHA that it would eliminate serious hazards, Case Farms continues to endanger the safety and health of its workers. This simply must stop.”

The February 2015 inspection that resulted in the citations found:

  • Amputation hazards.
  • Fall hazards due to non-functioning fall-arrest systems, unprotected platforms and wet work surfaces.
  • Lack of personal protective equipment.
  • Numerous violations of electrical safety standards.
  • Improperly stored oxygen cylinders.
  • Lack of emergency eye-wash stations.

Case Farms has an extensive history of health and safety violations. Since 1988, OSHA and the Occupational Safety and Health Division of North Carolina’s Department of Labor have inspected the company 66 times at its facilities in North Carolina and Ohio, with citations issued in 42 of those inspections. A majority of the inspections were initiated after worker injuries, complaints or referrals.

In 2013, the company agreed to address safety violations in a settlement agreement with OSHA after being cited for exposing workers to dangerous machinery and other hazards at its Winesburg facility. However, follow-up inspections led to the issuance of citations on May 28, 2015, for one willful violation, four repeat violations, one serious violation, and one other-than-serious violation. The hazards addressed by those citations include failing to ensure machines had safety guards to protect workers and allowing electrical hazards. Case Farms has contested those citations. In addition, OSHA is currently investigating Case Farms facilities in Canton, Ohio, after receiving reports of employee injuries there.

Current citations on Case Farms are available here.

Headquartered in Troutman, North Carolina, Case Farms Processing processes 2.8 million chickens per week at seven facilities in North Carolina and Ohio. It has more than 3,200 employees and produces more than 900 million pounds of fresh, partially cooked and frozen-for-export poultry products yearly. Its Ohio facilities are located in Canton, Strasburg, Massillon, and Winesburg. In North Carolina, Case Farms operates in Dudley, Goldsboro, Mount Olive, and Morganton.

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Rapidly growing occupational safety consulting company has immediate need for a quick starter – must be degreed and experienced in the safety field.

iStock_000013114436 ASH Hiring Man

Safety Consultant

Advanced Safety & Health, LLC is a growing Occupational Safety Consulting company based in Louisville, Kentucky.  We are dedicated to providing high quality professional safety management, consulting and training services to our vastly diverse client base. We provide onsite safety support services, training and consulting for large- to small-scale operations, conduct OSHA-related audits, injury prevention programs, safety program management support, develop written programs and procedures, provide incident investigations and trending, provide customized training, job safety analysis, risk assessments, and many other related services for both short-term and ongoing contract engagements.

We are currently searching for an individual who is passionate about safety management and training practices, and is able to work with a wide array of organizations and people, including manufacturing, utilities, municipalities, distribution, construction, mines, maritime, and service sectors.

What You’ll Do

The ideal Safety Consultant for Advanced Safety & Health will be located in the Louisville, Kentucky area and be willing to travel as the job requires.  You must be able to conduct onsite safety management support, risk assessments, and training for our growing client base throughout the United States, but primarily focused in Kentucky, Southern Indiana, and Ohio areas.

Additionally, you will need to be able to:

  • Conduct full day training sessions that may involve multiple consecutive days
  • Conduct intense multi-day onsite risk evaluation surveys and compile detailed reports and recommendations
  • Assist clients with the development and implementation of safety policies, programs, and procedures specific to each account and loss exposure
  • Provide advanced risk management and consultative services to assigned clients
  • Maintain and demonstrate safety management and expertise in areas such as OSHA, MSHA, injury prevention, workers’ compensation,  and fleet safety
  • Develop, coordinate, and conduct safety/risk management seminars and training programs for accounts to promote OSHA compliance awareness and reduce work-related injury frequency and severity
  • Develop and execute service proposals and plans to large accounts

What It Takes

  • Bachelor’s Degree required, Master’s Degree preferred
  • Degree must have emphasis in Occupational Safety & Health, Engineering, Management, or Loss Control
  • At least five plus years of safety consulting or safety management work experience
  • High level of independence, organization, and self-motivation
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to effectively interact with a diverse customer base
  • Experience in coordinating and servicing large or multi-location accounts preferred
  • Intimate knowledge, understanding, and implementation of OSHA, ANSI, NFPA Standards, and DOT Regulations
  • High level of verbal and written communication skills
  • Ability to provide effective training in a variety of hands-on and classroom type settings
  • Proficiency in basic Microsoft computer programs such as Word, PowerPoint, and Excel
  • Valid driver’s license, acceptable motor vehicle record, and dependable transportation for travel, including overnight travel
  • Safety designations such as CSP preferred, or willingness to pursue professional designation(s)
  • A proficiency in mine or construction safety and health as well as environmental compliance could be an added plus, but not required.

What You’ll Receive

Advanced Safety & Health offers all full-time employees a benefit package that includes:

  • Competitive Compensation with a potential for pay bonuses
  • Group Medical, Dental, and Vision
  • SIMPLE retirement plan with an employercontribution
  • Paid Vacation and Holidays

What You Need To Do

Submit your resume, with a cover letter explaining why you should be part of our growing team, your special qualities, and salary expectations to info@advancedsafetyhealth.com.  Please put Louisville Safety Consultant in the email heading.

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Illinois construction companies, manager face nearly $2M in fines

Danger Asbestos2OKAWVILLE, Illinois - An investigation by OSHA has found that Joseph Kehrer, Kehrer Brothers Construction, and a Kehrer-affiliated company, D7 Roofing, violated numerous OSHA health standards related to the dangers of asbestos.

Kehrer Brothers and Joseph Kehrer face $1,792,000 in penalties for willfully exposing at least eight workers to asbestos. OSHA inspectors determined that Kehrer and supervisors of the Albers, Illinois-based company told employees to remove asbestos-containing materials during renovation of the former Okawville school. OSHA also placed Kehrer Brothers in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program.

Many of the workers came to the U.S. to work for Kehrer under the provisions of the H-2B visa program that allows companies to hire foreign workers temporarily. The investigation also found the Kehrer management threatened some workers with termination if they spoke with OSHA inspectors.

“Kehrer Brothers Construction brought non-English speaking workers to the U.S. and knowingly exposed them to asbestos,” said Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health. “Kehrer also threatened to fire his employees if they spoke with our investigators. This is outrageous, illegal behavior. We at OSHA will do everything in our power to ensure this employer stops endangering his employees.”

OSHA cited Kehrer and Kehrer Brothers for 16 egregious, nine willful and six serious violations. OSHA inspectors also found that Kehrer and the companies failed to warn employees, some of whom spoke only Spanish, of the danger even though they were aware of the asbestos hazard. They also failed to ensure that workers used appropriate work methods and respirators, and to train them about the hazards of working around asbestos.

Asbestos exposure occurs when workers cut and sand asbestos-containing building materials, releasing asbestos fibers that can be inhaled without proper protection. Asbestos can cause lung disease and mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the lung or stomach that is nearly always fatal. Asbestos fibers also remain on clothing and transfer to other surfaces such as upholstery and carpets, creating a danger of secondary exposure for others.

In its citations, OSHA alleges that Kehrer and Kehrer Brothers Construction failed to:

  • Provide basic personal protective equipment such as hard hats, eyewear and protective clothing.
  • Create a decontamination area for employees to remove work clothing before leaving the worksite.
  • Use appropriate work methods to minimize asbestos exposure, such as removing tiles intact and using wet methods to keep asbestos fibers from becoming airborne.

OSHA also cited D7 Roofing for one serious and two willful violations. The willful violations were for not training the workers or informing them about the presence of asbestos-containing material. The serious violation was for failing to conduct inspections as required by law. Proposed penalties total $147,000.

Following its investigation, OSHA made referrals to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Kehrer Brothers Construction has an extensive prior history with OSHA and has been inspected 11 times since 2007. At the time of the 2015 inspection, Kehrer Brothers Construction and D7 had workers’ compensation insurance through American Zurich Insurance Co.

Current citations on Kehrer Brothers are available here, while citations issued to D7 Roofing are available here.

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Work AccidentWASHINGTON – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently issued an updated National Emphasis Program on Amputations. The NEP has been in existence since 2006 and is targeted to industries with high numbers and rates of amputations. In this updated NEP, OSHA is using current enforcement data and Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) injury data to assist with site selection targeting, the same methodology used in the prior NEP.

According to the most recent BLS data, manufacturing employers report that 2,000 workers suffered amputations in 2013. The rate of amputations in the manufacturing sector was more than twice as much (1.7 per 10,000 full-time employees) as that of all private industry (0.7). These serious injuries are preventable by following basic safety precautions.

The NEP includes a list of industries with high numbers and rates of amputations as reported to BLS.

“Workers injured from unguarded machinery and equipment can suffer permanent disability or lose their lives,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. “This directive will help ensure that employers identify and eliminate serious workplace hazards and provide safe workplaces for all workers.”

OSHA’s inspections over the past 40 years indicate that employee exposures to unguarded or inadequately guarded machinery and equipment, along with related hazardous energy exposures during servicing and maintenance activities, occur in many workplaces.

This directive updates the 2006 NEP on Amputations and applies to general industry workplaces in which any machinery or equipment likely to cause amputations are present. Inspections will include an evaluation of employee exposures during operations such as: clearing jams; cleaning, oiling or greasing machines or machine pans; and locking out machinery to prevent accidental start-up.

On January 1, 2015, OSHA issued new requirements for reporting work-related fatalities and severe injuries. Employers must now report fatalities within eight hours of learning of the incident and any in-patient hospitalization, amputation or loss of an eye within 24 hours of learning of the incident. Employers can report an event by telephone to the nearest OSHA area office or to OSHA’s 24-hour hotline at 800-321-6742. Employers will soon be able to report events electronically through OSHA’s website.

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Integra Health Management failed to protect employee from workplace violence hazards

??????????????????????????????TAMPA, Florida – After the horrific murder of a Florida health care worker in 2012, an administrative law judge affirmed in June that her employer failed to protect her from workplace violence.

Judge Dennis Phillips of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission determined Integra Health Management – now operating as Integra ServiceConnect LLC – did not protect Stephanie Ross, a 24-year-old social service coordinator. Her client, with severe mental illness and a violent criminal history, fatally stabbed Ms. Ross outside his home in December 2012. On the job for approximately three months, she had prior meetings with the man and had recorded in her case notes that she was uncomfortable being alone with him.

Like other social service coordinators, Ross visited dangerous and violent clients in their homes and coordinated case management. To perform mental and physical health assessments, she transported clients in her vehicle.

“The safety of social service workers in the field is a serious concern. Many face threats and violence in the workplace. Integra put its workers at risk of injury or worse by choosing not to implement commonly recognized safety practices and protocols,” said Leslie Grove, OSHA’s director of the Tampa Area Office. “Employers must take every reasonable precaution to protect employees against safety and health hazards in the workplace, including physical assaults.”

OSHA investigators found Integra knew the assailant had exhibited several high-risk behaviors, including a history of violence, criminal behavior, schizophrenia and paranoia, but took no steps to protect its employee. The agency also discovered multiple incidents where Integra employees were victims of aggression and verbal and physical threats from clients. OSHA concluded that the company did not conduct a hazard assessment of the service coordinator position or develop a written program to prevent workplace violence hazards.

Investigators issued two serious citations with full penalties to Integra in March 2013 for failing to protect employees from violence in the workplace and not reporting Ross’ death to OSHA. The company contested the citations that went before the commission for review. Judge Phillips found that Integra’s approach to safety was inadequate, and the company should have taken precautions to prevent injury by hiring and training its employees appropriately. The citations bring penalties of $10,500.

In future health care industry inspections, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced recently that it would expand its enforcement resources to focus on workplace violence and other safety and health risks.

Based in Owings Mills, Maryland, Integra Health Management is a health care service company specializing in community-based nonclinical support for individuals with health care and related social service needs. Integra contracts with insurance companies to perform mental and physical health assessments and coordinates case management for high-risk, high-cost members. It operates in Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Florida.

On June 25, OSHA announced that it added musculoskeletal disorders, bloodborne pathogens, workplace violence, tuberculosis and slips, trips and falls as key hazards for investigators to focus on in health care inspections. The action targets some of the most common causes of workplace injury and illness in the health care industry.

Bureau of Labor Statistics data from the preliminary Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries shows fatal work injuries in Florida accounted for 218 of the 4,405 fatal work injuries reported nationally in 2013. Additional details are available at http://www.bls.gov.

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Is it Medical Treatment or First Aid?

iStock_000015979253XSmallIn response to a request by the National Athletic Trainers’ Association, OSHA has reevaluated its classification of the application of kinesiology tape as constituting medical treatment.

In her Letter of Interpretation dated July 6, 2015, Amanda Edens, Directorate of Technical Support and Emergency Management writes “Pursuant to 29 CFR 1904.7, first aid treatment includes ‘any non-rigid means of support, such as elastic bandages, wraps, non-rigid back belts, etc.’ The use of kinesiology tape and other types of elastic taping is included within the definition of first aid treatment, and thus the use of such tape alone would not be considered medical treatment.”

The entire Letter of Interpretation can be view here.

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D&D Manufacturing faces more than $321K in fines

OSHA InspectorEL PASO, Texas - OSHA issued 13 citations to D&D Manufacturing Inc. following a recent inspection prompted by a formal complaint. The inspection identified 13 safety and health citations for exposing workers to amputations and other serious injuries from unsafe machinery, including a violation for ignoring the danger of allowing employees to work with a defective 500-ton metal press that the company knew had repeatedly dropped without warning.

Completed under OSHA’s National Emphasis Program on Amputations, the inspection resulted in $321,750 in proposed department fines for D&D. This inspection follows one in December 2014 that resulted in 36 federal citations for serious safety violations.

“D&D is aware of the dangers at its production facility, but has done nothing to correct them. An employee could have been seriously injured,” said Diego Alvarado Jr., OSHA’s area director in El Paso. “There is no reason, or excuse for a company to ignore basic safety requirements.”

OSHA cited the company for four willful, one repeated, six serious and two other violations. In addition to allowing workers to use the defective press, D&D did not ensure that employees on the production floor wore appropriate eye protection, given the risk of flying metal particles blinding them.

Additionally, the company failed to make sure employees used hearing protection in areas where noise levels were above the acceptable limits. The repeated violation was for failing to have all illuminated exit signs lit.

View the citations at

https://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/D_D_Manufacturing_1018388_0710_15.pdf

D&D Manufacturing fabricates stamped, metal components for equipment manufacturers. The company has headquarters in Bolingbrook, Illinois, and employs about 37 workers in El Paso. It also has a facility in Mexico.

 

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OSHA fines 2 employers more than $196K

Work AccidentOSHA issued 25 repeat, 15 serious and two other-than-serious safety and health citations to Sterling Seating, a furniture manufacturing plant in North Arlington, New Jersey. On Target Staffing, a staffing company that provided laborers to Sterling, received one repeat and two serious health citations. The inspection was initiated in January after a complaint was received alleging unsafe working conditions at Sterling’s plant. Inspectors observed hazards to temporary workers, resulting in a separate inspection of the staffing company.

Sterling was cited for exposing workers to amputation hazards while operating machinery by not using procedures to prevent inadvertent machine start-up, known as lockout/tagout. The company was also cited for not training employees about the effects of hazardous chemicals used in the workplace, including methylene chloride, combustible dust and formaldehyde. The company also received citations for electrical, exit hazards, and struck-by hazards from boxes stacked unsafely, and for multiple safety violations related to methylene chloride and fire hazards. Proposed penalties in the amount of $176,330 were levied against Sterling.

On Target Staffing was cited for not having a written hazard communication program or training, or documentation of a hazard assessment. Proposed penalties in the amount of $19,800 were levied against the staffing agency.

“Sterling Seating has repeatedly violated basic safety and health standards and exposed its employees to needless hazards,” said Lisa Levy, area director of OSHA’s Hasbrouck Heights Area Office. “Host employers and staffing agencies share a responsibility for worker safety. Those that fail to ensure that safety will be held legally responsible.”

To view the citations:

http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/SterlingSeating_1017331and1046869.pdf

http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/OnTargetStaffingLLC_1042474.pdf

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Emphasis placed on musculoskeletal disorders, bloodborne pathogens, workplace violence, tuberculosis, and slips/trips/falls

iStock_000009123775XSmallWASHINGTON — Targeting some of the most common causes of workplace injury and illness in the healthcare industry, OSHA announced the agency is expanding its use of enforcement resources in hospitals and nursing homes to focus on musculoskeletal disorders related to patient or resident handling, bloodborne pathogens, workplace violence, tuberculosis, and slips/trips/falls.

U.S. hospitals recorded nearly 58,000 work-related injuries and illnesses in 2013, amounting to 6.4 work-related injuries and illnesses for every 100 full-time employees, almost twice as high as the overall rate for private industry.

“Workers who take care of us when we are sick or hurt should not be at such high risk for injuries — that simply is not right. Workers in hospitals, nursing homes and long-term care facilities have work injury and illness rates that are among the highest in the country, and virtually all of these injuries and illnesses are preventable,” said Dr. David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health. “OSHA has provided employers with education, training and resource materials, and it’s time for hospitals and the health care industry to make the changes necessary to protect their workers.”

OSHA has advised its staff through a memorandum that all inspections of hospitals and nursing home facilities, including those prompted by complaints, referrals or severe injury reports, should include the review of potential hazards involving MSD related to patient handling; bloodborne pathogens; workplace violence; tuberculosis; and slips/trips/falls.

“The most recent statistics tell us that almost half of all reported injuries in the healthcare industry were attributed to overexertion and related tasks. Nurses and nursing assistants each accounted for a substantial share of this total,” added Dr. Michaels.  “There are feasible solutions for preventing these hazards and now is the time for employers to implement them.”

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Must reinstate injured conductor and pay $536K in damages

iStock_000016656836XSmallwhistlebower2SEATTLE – North America’s second-largest freight railroad, Burlington Northern Santa Fe LLC, must reinstate a train conductor and pay the man $536,063 in back pay, damages and attorney’s fees after a federal investigation found the rail operator retaliated against its employee after reporting a knee injury.

BNSF filed disciplinary charges against the conductor after he reported the injury, which occurred in November 2010 while enroute from Vancouver to Pasco. The employee filed a Federal Railroad Safety Act anti-discrimination complaint with OSHA in February 2011. Company officials fired him in August 2011 despite knowing that his injury report was protected by law.

After an investigation, OSHA investigators determined the railroad violated federal laws protecting whistleblowers and ordered the reinstatement and financial compensation.

“Disciplining an employee for reporting an injury is illegal,” said Ken Atha, regional administrator for OSHA’s Seattle office. “Those who do so face negative repercussions. Retaliatory actions can discourage other workers from speaking up, which may result in an unsafe work environment.”

In addition to paying punitive and compensatory damages, OSHA ordered BNSF to rehire the employee and expunge his record of all charges and disciplinary action. The company must also conduct training for supervisors and managers on employee whistleblower rights and post a notice to employees of their whistleblower rights.

Both the employee and the railroad have 30 days from receipt of OSHA’s findings to file objections and request a hearing before the department’s Office of Administrative Law Judges.

With 38,000 employees, BNSF operates more than 7,000 locomotives and 32,500 miles of track.

OSHA enforces the whistleblower provisions of the FRSA and 21 other statutes protecting employees who report violations of various airline, commercial motor carrier, consumer product, environmental, financial reform, food safety, health care reform, nuclear, pipeline, public transportation agency, maritime and securities laws.

Under laws enacted by Congress, employers are prohibited from retaliating against employees who raise various protected concerns or provide protected information to the employer or to the government. Employees who believe that they have been retaliated against for engaging in protected conduct may file a complaint with the secretary of labor for an investigation by OSHA’s Whistleblower Protection Program. Detailed employee rights information is available online at http://www.whistleblowers.gov.

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