The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued Ace Iron and Metal Co., Columbus, Ohio, with 14 alleged safety violations for failing to provide workers' machine guards and personal protective equipment, and to train them in safety procedures. The investigation was initiated in September 2010 after a worker was pinned under a scrap hauler, resulting in permanent damage to his left leg.
OSHA issued Ace Iron and Metal one repeat citation for failing to provide machine guarding in place on three shear machines, exposing employees to an amputation hazard. The company received a second repeat citation for missing tongue guards on a Ryobi bench grinder. A repeat citation is issued when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years.
Twelve serious citations were issued for failing to install rear view mirrors on both sides of scrap handlers; conduct periodic inspections of energy control procedures; provide training in energy control procedures; ensure electrical safety related work practices were followed during troubleshooting, voltage testing and maintenance of electrical circuits; provide training on the safe operation of powered industrial trucks; properly use electrical equipment; and provide electrical protective equipment for employees. A serious violation occurs 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.
The company faces penalties totaling $63,000. Prior to the inspection detailed above, Ace Iron and Metal had been inspected by OSHA 10 times since 1987, resulting in 69 prior citations, including a fatal accident that resulted in significant OSHA enforcement actions and penalties of $368,000.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Employers and employees with questions regarding workplace safety and health standards can call OSHA's Columbus office at 614-469-5582. To report workplace incidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, call the agency's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742).