OSHA fines Cracker East $116K for 19 violations

RP news wires, Noria Corporation
Tags: workplace safety

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has proposed $116,200.00 in fines against Cracker East Corp. of Haslett, Mich., for alleged willful and serious violations of workplace safety and health standards during demolition work in Lansing, Ill., in April.

OSHA officials opened an inspection at the site of a bridge-demolition operation in response to information received concerning fall hazards and improper personal protective equipment used for torch cutting on structural steel coated with lead-based paint.

The investigation resulted in citations issued to Cracker East Corp. alleging three willful and 16 serious violations of federal workplace safety and health regulations. The alleged willful violations addressed employee exposure to lead and fall protection. The alleged serious violations included failing to comply with OSHA health standards on lead and personal protective equipment and failure to provide adequate washing and eating areas. Serious safety citations dealt with improper storage, use, and movement of gas cylinders and inadequate fall protection.

OSHA issues a serious citation when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known. Violations are categorized as willful when there is either an intentional disregard or plain indifference to employee safety or OSHA regulations.

"When employers shirk their responsibility to keep the workplace free of such hazards, the results can be tragic for workers and their families," said OSHA area director Gary Anderson, Calumet City, Ill.

The company has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to appeal them before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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