HE&M Inc., a Pryor, Oklahoma-based metalworking band saw manufacturer, is facing $187,533 in fines for exposing employees to fall, machine guarding, struck-by, and electrical hazards, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
OSHA initiated a safety inspection of the facility after the company submitted OSHA 300A injury and illness information that showed a higher-than-average injury rate.
During the inspection, investigators found 19 serious violations and one other-than-serious violation.
In one of the serious violations, investigators found adequate precautions where not taken to prevent the ignition of flammable vapors. The employer did not ensure barrels of flammable chemicals were protected from the ignition of flammable vapors. This violation was observed during an inspection at the facility, where employees were allowed to use a metal tool to open barrels of flammable chemicals, exposing them to fire and explosion hazards. In addition, employees were allowed to dispense flammable chemicals elevated on a stand into smaller containers. The barrels of flammable chemicals were not grounded, exposing employees to fire and explosion hazards.
“Employers are legally obligated to address hazards immediately, as well as identify and correct injury hazards in their facility,” said OSHA Area Director Steven Kirby, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
OSHA provides resources on protecting workers from falls in general industry, amputations, and the release of hazardous energy.