A Mississippi branch of North America’s largest galvanizer is facing nearly two dozen federal health and safety citations and $78,500 in fines after an inspection triggered by a complaint.
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited AZZ Inc., doing business as AZZ Galvanizing Services in Richland, MS, for 22 safety and health violations.
|AZZ provides corrosion protection services through a network of 34 plants in 17 states and Canada.|
Based in Fort Worth, TX, AZZ has provided corrosion protection services to the steel fabrication industry for more than four decades. The company has 34 locations across the United States and Canada.
Seventeen serious safety and health violations include failure to:
• Inspect lockout/tagout procedures;
• Protect workers from trip and fall hazards;
• Ensure the use of seatbelts while operating a powered industrial truck;
• Provide adequate signage for permit-required confined spaces;
• Mark the maximum load capacity for cranes;
• Protect employees from live electrical parts and hot surfaces; and
• Provide a hearing conservation program.
Additional serious violations involve:
• Damaged and unmarked hook lifting devices;
• A defective powered industrial truck;
• An emergency eyewash station with pressure exceeding the maximum allowable pounds per square inch;
• Flexible cords used as permanent wiring; and
• Unapproved electrical cords in wet locations.
A serious violation reflects “substantial probability” of death or serious injury from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known. Proposed penalties for these citations total $78,500.
Citations were also issued, without a fine, for five other-than-serious violations.
• Failure to provide appropriate warning labels on hazardous chemicals;
• Improper use of electrical equipment;
• Failure to provide adequate exit signage; and
• Allowing electrical cords to run through a hole in a ceiling, windows and doorways.
“Our inspection found serious hazards that reflect management’s neglect of maintenance and safety procedures,” said Clyde Payne, OSHA’s area director in Jackson. “Employees have the right to expect a workplace free from hazards that could endanger their lives.”
AZZ Galvanizing locations in Ohio, West Virginia and Illinois have been cited by OSHA several times since 2009. These are the first citations for the Mississippi plant.
The company did not respond Tuesday (June 5) to a request for comment. It has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request a conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the case.