Repeated failure to provide personal protective clothing and other safeguards has a Michigan-based specialty steel fabricator facing a variety of federal citations and $64,400 in fines.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Brown-Campbell Co. for 19 alleged safety and health violations, including four repeat infractions, at its Cleveland plant after a Dec. 5, 2011, inspection that originated with a complaint.
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|The case includes a repeat violation for allegedly failing to establish a lockout/tagout program.|
The repeat hazards involve similar violations cited in February 2011 at the company’s facility in Chicago. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation within five years at any other facility in a state regulated by federal OSHA.
Founded in 1952, Detroit-based Brown-Campbell engineers, manufactures, paints and galvanizes specialty steel products at manufacturing centers in seven cities and has sales offices in four states.
“We firmly believe that the alleged OSHA violations are without merit, and Brown-Campbell is going to contest each and every one of them,” the company’s John Campbell wrote in an email Thursday (June 7).
Repeat, Serious Violations
OSHA issued repeat citations to Brown-Campbell for allegedly failing to:
• Provide welding screens;
• Provide protective clothing for employees exposed to metal sparks;
• Establish a lockout/tagout program to control the use of hazardous energy; and
• Train employees in hazard communication.
Eight serious safety violations allege failure to:
• Protect workers from falls around open-sided floors;
• Have properly trapped overflow piping for dip tanks;
• Have electrically bonded portable containers when transferring liquid to the dip tanks;
• Train employees on the use of portable fire extinguishers;
• Have a properly rated electrical disconnect box; and
• Adequately guard a shear, metal grating saw and bench grinder.
Three serious health violations were issued for failing to institute a hearing conservation program, failing to label dip tanks with the names of hazardous chemicals, and failing to post appropriate hazard warnings.
Serious violations reflect “substantial probability” from death or serious injury from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
Four other-than-serious violations allege failure to:
• Identify the load limit of an overhead storage area;
• Separate oxygen cylinders from combustible materials;
• Close an unused opening in an electrical box; and
• Provide respiratory protection training to workers using dust masks.
‘A Responsibility to Protect’
The February 2011 case in Chicago also originated with a complaint. In that case, OSHA issued eight serious and three other-than-serious violations and $23,800 in fines. Those were later reduced to six serious and five other-than-serious violations, and the case was settled for $9,100.
“Brown-Campbell has a responsibility to protect the health of its employees by providing and ensuring workers wear protective clothing and to provide training on known hazards in the workplace,” said Howard Eberts, director of OSHA’s Cleveland Area Office. “Employers who are cited for repeat violations demonstrate a lack of commitment to employee safety and health.”
The third-generation company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations to comply, request an informal conference or contest the case.