An Ohio industrial painting and blasting contractor with a long-unblemished safety record has tentatively settled its first federal case for a sharply reduced fine.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited Flamos Enterprises Inc., parent company of Stark Sandblasting & Painting, earlier this month for five violations, accusing the company of exposing workers to lead. Fines totaled $45,500.
|The industrial painting contractor, founded in 1981, had never had an OSHA citation.|
The Canton, OH-based company, established in 1981, performs surface preparation and applies protective coatings in a variety of industrial settings. The company, with about 75 employees, also has a fireproofing division, Pyravert Asset Protection, that serves the petrochemical, energy, steel fabricating and other sectors.
The citations, issued after an April inspection, were the company’s first.
‘Commitment to Safety’
The citations consisted of one willful violation—OSHA’s highest level of infraction—alleging failure to collect air samples and using compressed to clean a crane without a ventilation system to capture airborne dust; three serious safety violations alleging lack of adequate clean change rooms, failure to ensure that contaminated clothes were removed in a change area, and lack of a written compliance program; and one other-than-serious violation alleging failure to record data related to a project.
Stelio Flamos, president of Flamos Enterprises, immediately contested the case.
“Safety has always and will always be our top priority,” Flamos wrote in an email Saturday (Aug. 18). “With over 30 years of experience and millions of man hours worked with absolutely no citations is a testament to our commitment to safety.
“This includes over 12 years of performing services in the power generation industry, chemical industry, oil refinery industry, and many large industrial applications.”
Company officials met Aug. 14 with OSHA representatives. On Monday (Aug. 20), Flamos said OSHA had informed him that the willful citation, which accounted for $38,500 of the fine, had been reclassified as serious and the fine reduced to $7,000.
OSHA confirmed the tentative settlement late Monday, saying the company would pay a total of $14,000 in fines: $7,000 for the reclassified violation and the $7,000 originally assessed for the serious violations. (The other-than-serious violation carried no fine.)
Flamos said, “The issues addressed by OSHA have been addressed and completely abated by Flamos Enterprises Inc., and we look forward to favorably resolving any concerns that OHSA might have.
“We as a company continue to excel in providing a safety first culture in our workplace for both our employees and our customers.”