PaintSquare.com
      | Connect Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook
About | Subscribe | Advertise
  

 

Download our FREE eResource: Specifier's Choice Guide. Get it now.

Paint and Coatings Industry News

Main News Page


Abrasives Maker Faces New OSHA Case

Monday, January 20, 2014

More items for Health & Safety

Comment | More

One year after settling eight federal health and safety cases with a $700,000 fine, U.S. Minerals is facing new allegations at the plant that started it all.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited six safety violations at the company's facility in Baldwin, IL. Newly proposed fines total $195,470.

USMinerals
U.S. Minerals

With seven manufacturing locations, U.S. Minerals is one of the largest U.S. producers of coal-slag products, including Black Magnum abrasives.

U.S. Minerals, based in Dyer, IN, is one of the largest U.S. producers of coal slag products. The company produces Black Magnum coal slag and Black Diamond iron silicate abrasives, roofing granules, and fill.

Repeat, Willful Violations

Two of the new violations are classified as willful, OSHA's highest level of infraction. A willful violation is "one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for, or plain indifference to, employee safety and health," according to the agency.

Three of the violations are classified as repeat; the sixth, as serious.

U.S. Minerals declined Friday (Jan. 17) to comment. It has repeatedly denied wrongdoing and defended its health and safety record. None of the current allegations or past violations relate directly to an accident or injury.

4 Plants, 8 Cases

The new citations follow a July 2013 inspection at U.S. Minerals' Baldwin facility, where the company's troubles with OSHA began with an inspection in June 2010.

BlackMagnum Roof Shingles
www.smecca.com (left); U.S. Minerals (right)

U.S. Minerals produces coal-slag and iron silicate abrasives, granules and products for a range of applications.

After that visit, the agency issued 35 health and safety citations and $466,400 in fines against the company for "willfully exposing workers to dangerously high levels of hazardous dust and failing to provide adequate breathing protection" at the plant, OSHA said Friday.

OSHA deemed the Baldwin operation “antiquated and poorly maintained.”

The results of the Baldwin inspections (three in all) led OSHA to inspect the company's three other facilities in Coffee, IL; Harvey, LA; and Galveston, TX.

(U.S. Minerals has since opened three additional plants in Anaconda, MT; Roberts, WI; and La Cygne, KS.)

SVEP and Settlement

By the end of 2010, U.S. Minerals was facing 141 alleged violations and more than $1.5 million in fines. In December 2010, the company was placed in OSHA's Severe Violator Enforcement Program, which mandates follow-up inspections for employers with a history of safety violations.

OSHA blasting safety
OSHA

Abrasive blast media exposures and operations are subject to variety of federal health and safety regulations.

The company contested the cases vigorously through the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

In August 2012, U.S. Minerals signed a two-year, 27-page Settlement Agreement with the Review Commission that upheld all of the willful and repeat violations but reduced the fine to $700,000, which U.S. Minerals and paid in full.

The settlement agreement stipulated a lengthy list of conditions for the company, including the hiring of an OSHA-approved full-time safety manager with extensive authority. U.S. Minerals complied with all of the terms and remediated all of the violations, an OSHA spokesman said at the time.

New Allegations

The current citations against U.S. Minerals allege a variety of hazards.

US Minerals
U.S. Minerals

U.S. Minerals is operating under a stringent two-year settlement agreement signed in August 2012. The new allegations follow a July 2013 inspection.

Two willful violations allege failure to:

  • Have guards on railings, exposing workers to fall hazards of up to 40 feet; and
  • Ensure proper lockout/tagout procedures on equipment being serviced and maintained.

Three repeat violations allege failure to:

  • Develop, document and use procedures for servicing equipment where more than one employee was performing tasks;
  • Inspect energy control procedures annually; and
  • Ensure that each employee appropriately affixed a lockout device before equipment service and maintenance.

One serious citation accuses the company of failing to provide personal protective equipment to employees working atop equipment. A serious violation reflects a hazard that risks life or severe injury.

U.S. Minerals has 15 days from receipt of the citations to comply or contest them.
 

   

Tagged categories: Abrasive blasting; Coal slag; Fall protection; Health and safety; OSHA; U.S. Minerals

Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

Desco Mfg. Co., Inc.

Dust - Free Surface Prep
Made EASY!

Efficient-Fast clean/remove
Advanced Containment
Safe - Well Below OSHA
Yes! - Innovative Solutions!
DESCO Mfg.Co., Inc.
www.descomfg.com
800-337-2648


able equipment rental
RENTALS | SALES | SERVICE | PARTS

Construction equipment, plus compressors up to 1,800 cfm of air power & a fleet of service vehicles providing repairs to customer owned fleets. 866-468-2666.
www.ableequipment.com


Specialty Products, Inc. (SPI)
Polyurea & Polyurethane Spray Foam Training

SPI is committed to industry leading technical training for polyurea & polyurethane spray foam professionals. Attendees receive hands-on, in-depth training for using and troubleshooting plural-component equipment, spray guns, machine hoses & parts.


NACE
Keep your records straight!

For use in the field, with step-by-step job-specific entry spaces for the entire coating or lining project; also available in condensed version. Get it today!


Absolute Equipment/Grand Rental Station
TIER 4 EQUIPMENT

We have Tier 4 Equipment including Air Compressors & Generators for Sale & Rent! Your job may now require Tier-4. www.absoluteequip.com or Call 412-931-6655.


Blastox/The TDJ Group, Inc.
Blastox® - One Step Lead Abatement

Sandblast additive delivered to jobsite pre-blended to eliminate hazardous abrasive wastes. Why mix, meter or apply at the job-site? Blast with ease and
Let your painters paint!
1(800)-639-1113


Abrasives Inc.
Check our Prices for Blast Abrasives

Faced with higher abrasive costs? We invite you to call & check our rates on Black Magic® coal slag and other quality blast materials. Abrasives Inc. 800-584-7524


Graco Inc.
Saves up to 80% of energy costs

• Smooth, low pulsation
  spraying
• No air motor = no more icing
  issues
• First of its kind approved for
  hazardous locations
e-Xtreme™ Electric Airless Sprayer Learn more


Industrial Vacuum Equipment Corp.
Hurricane Vacuums
& Dust Collectors

Vacuum and dust collector hose, filters and related accessories.
IndustrialVacuum.com


ABKaelin, LLC
ABkaelin, LLC

SSPC C3 & C5 TRAINING
QUALITY PROGRAM/CERTIFICATION SUPPORT – ISO,NQA-1, AISC SSPC QP and QS.
MONITORING-Environmental and worker monitoring CONSULTING & INSPECTION – Coatings, EHS, and compliance.
www.abkaelin.com

 
 
 
Technology Publishing

The Technology Publishing Network

The Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings (JPCL) PaintSquare
Durability + Design Paint BidTracker

 
EXPLORE:      JPCL   |   PaintSquare News   |   Interact   |   Buying Guides   |   Webinars   |   Resources   |   Classifieds
REGISTER AND SUBSCRIBE:      Free PaintSquare Registration   |   Subscribe to JPCL   |   Subscribe to PaintSquare News
MORE:      About PaintSquare.com   |   Privacy policy   |   Terms & conditions   |   Site Map   |   Search   |   Contact Us
 

© Copyright 2000-2016, Technology Publishing / PaintSquare, All rights reserved
2100 Wharton Street, Suite 310, Pittsburgh PA 15203-1951; Tel 1-412-431-8300; Fax 1-412-431-5428; E-mail webmaster@paintsquare.com