PaintSquare.com


The First Word in Protective & Marine Coatings

A Product of Technology Publishing / PaintSquare
JPCL | PaintSquare News | Durability + Design | Paint BidTracker

Chemical & Petrochemical Plant Coating Systems

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.

Bullard

The Next Generation
of Blasting

• Lightest
• Coolest
• Most Comfortable
• Most Dependable


ABKaelin, LLC
Quality is our bottom line

Services include:
• Environmental, Health &
  Safety
• Contractor QP Certification
• Quality Assurance Programs
  and Auditing
• SSPC C3/C5 and other
  Training
• Coatings
• Design/Construction
See our website at abkaelin.com or contact us today abkaelin@comcast.com


Clemco Industries Corp.
Powerful Protection in a Small Package

Mounts inside blast helmet, alerts operator to dangerous breathing-air condition by audible, visual, and vibratory alarms. Easily calibrated, battery operated.


DeHumidification Technologies
HUMIDITY PROBLEMS?

DH Tech has the most innovative and reliable equipment available to
control humidity efficiently
and effectively.
IT'S UNDER CONTROL!


Absolute Equipment/Grand Rental Station
Portable Power from Absolute Equipment

•Compressors
•Lighting Systems
•Generators
•Light Compaction
Sales • Rental • Service
Call 1-866-931-6655
Over a century of
providing excellence.


Minerals Research & Recovery
PREMIUM SLAG ABRASIVES

Visit mrrinc.com In surface preparation tests run for NIOSH by an independent company, Sharpshot® was shown to be the best slag abrasive for cutting speed and cost per sq. ft.
Call Steve: 520-297-4626


Atlantic Design, Inc.
OUR QUALITY & YOUR TIME.

Many service issues can be easily solved over the phone. When you do need parts, ADI has most in stock for all your blasting needs. 866.Call.ADI

 
 
 
Technology Publishing

The Technology Publishing Network

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

 
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 2000-2014, 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