OSHA Cites PA Manufacturer

June 25, 2019

A Pennsylvania manufacturing company faces $687,670 in penalties following an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) inspection. OSHA issued several citations to the Strattanville-based company, including ones for failing to:

  • provide fall protection;
  • train employees on hazard communication and hearing conservation; and
  • use machine guarding.

The company can either pay the penalty, request an informal conference with the OSHA area director, or contest the findings before the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Workplace Safety and Health Standards

OSHA enforces standards designed to ensure safe and healthful workplaces for employees throughout the U.S. There are both general and industry-specific standards governing various workplace safety and health hazards such as chemicals, heavy machinery, and equipment. Employers must comply with all applicable OSHA standards as well as the General Duty Clause of the OSH Act, which provides that employers must provide workers with places of employment that are free from recognized hazards likely to cause death or serious physical harm.

OSHA Safety Standard Enforcement

OSHA is authorized to conduct workplace inspections, which are to be conducted by OSHA compliance safety and health officers who have the requisite knowledge and training. OSHA officers may issue citations, along with proposed penalties of up to $500,000, depending on the type of violation. Violations may either be categorized as:

  • Serious – These violations are those that are substantially likely to cause death or serious physical harm. Because the employer knew or should have known of the hazard, OSHA is authorized to impose stiff penalties of up to $7,000 or more for each violation.
  • Other than serious – Violations that are not likely to cause death or serious physical harm may be considered “other than serious”. They also come with possible penalties of up to $7,000.
  • Willful – When an employer intentionally and knowingly commits a violation or is aware of a hazard but makes no effort to fix it, his or her behavior may constitute a willful violation. Employers who commit willful violations may be assessed no less than $5,000 but no more than $70,000 for each violation.
  • Repeat – Employers who were cited in the past and are found to have committed the same violations again may be cited for a repeat violation. These also carry fines of up to $70,000 for each violation.
  • Failure to abate – If an employer fails to correct a previously-cited violation, OSHA may issue a citation for failure to abate. This type of violation carries penalties of up to $7,000 for each day the violation continues to exist.

Most Frequently Cited OSHA Standards

The Strattanville manufacturing company received citations for some of the most common OSHA standards – those relating to hazard communication, fall protection, and machine guarding. Other frequently cited OSHA standards typically pertain to:

  • Scaffolding
  • Respiratory protection
  • Control of hazardous energy (lockout/tagout)
  • Ladders
  • Powered industrial trucks
  • Eye and face protection

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Contact a Philadelphia workers’ comp lawyer at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. to discuss your rights as an employee. Pennsylvania workers are entitled to safe and healthful workplaces, free from known hazards. If your employer does not address a hazardous condition even after being notified, you may request an OSHA workplace inspection. If you were injured at work due to an unsafe or unhealthful condition, you may be eligible for benefits. To discuss your case, please complete our online contact form or call us at 888-PITT-LAW.

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