The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Houston-based Igloo Products Corporation with 14 alleged serious, two alleged repeat and four alleged other-than-serious violations for exposing workers to multiple safety hazards. Proposed penalties total $113,500.
"This employer jeopardized the safety of its workers by exposing them to the possible release of electrical energy, which could cause electrocution or other hazards," said David Doucet, area director of OSHA's Houston North Area Office. "It is fortunate in this case that no one was injured."
OSHA's Houston North Area Office began its investigation on May 27 at the company's worksite on Igloo Road in Katy, Texas, following a complaint alleging workers were exposed to safety hazards while performing servicing and maintenance on machines and equipment in which the unexpected energization, or start-up, of the machines or equipment, or release of stored energy, could cause injury to employees.
The serious violations include failing to maintain dry walking and working surfaces, provide clean stairway platforms to avoid tripping hazards, provide stairway railings, provide a hazard analysis for personal protection equipment, provide eye protection such as goggles and face shields, provide adequate eye wash and shower stations, provide machine guarding for rotating equipment and ensure electrical panel covers were closed. A serious violation is one in which there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
Repeat violations were cited for failing to provide energy control procedures and to ensure workers were affixing lockout/tagout devices to energy isolating devices. A repeat violation 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.
Other-than-serious violations include failing to maintain and repair power tools and equipment and to adequately label electrical equipment. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of these latest citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director in Houston, or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.