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Thread: OSHA results

  1. #1
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    Default OSHA results

    As usual, after terminating an employee we had an OSHA inspection. Happens almost every time. First day of the inspection he found: no machine guarding issues. After market spray bottles labeled with magic marker for Windex & Simple Green (considered a serious violation because they were not in their original containers with full labeling, fine $3,000) Cord reels suspended from overhead on steel framework and connected to the ceiling mounted outlets by a 6' extension cord. Because cord reels are considered extension cords they violated the rule about using more than one extension cord fine $3,000.
    Our MSDS book was up to date, indexed and available in the shop. Problem: MSDS sheets are no longer recognized you have to have the ones with the new name SDS and the binder must use that name. We had just put the new format SDS sheets in place of the older MSDS sheets as we got them. You must also have a record of training all employees on the use of the SDS format, fine $3,000. Lockout Tagout kit, one padlock missing a key, not enough entries, fine $1200. The $3000 fined items were considered "serious violations." After official negotiation the total was reduced to $7,000.

    Two OSHA inspectors came back a 2nd day and went through all of our training records. They found that the written tests given at the end of forklift training did not have a signature and date under the employees name. There was a test date at the top of the form only. Steps to access the air to air cooler platform, used when cleaning, had non-compliant rise to run. The oldest part of the building didn't have lit exit signs. These items did not show up on the final list.
    All employees were interrogated, one at a time, in a private office. With 12 employees this took 4 hours. Two employees refused.
    Two inspectors came back a 3rd time to watch equipment be run. They asked employees about their training and setup procedures. They left W/O comment.

    If I remember correctly, with less than 10 employees you are not subject to OSHA fines unless you have a serious accident. May be time to terminate.

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  3. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larry42 View Post
    As usual, after terminating an employee we had an OSHA inspection. Happens almost every time. First day of the inspection he found: no machine guarding issues. After market spray bottles labeled with magic marker for Windex & Simple Green (considered a serious violation because they were not in their original containers with full labeling, fine $3,000) Cord reels suspended from overhead on steel framework and connected to the ceiling mounted outlets by a 6' extension cord. Because cord reels are considered extension cords they violated the rule about using more than one extension cord fine $3,000.
    Our MSDS book was up to date, indexed and available in the shop. Problem: MSDS sheets are no longer recognized you have to have the ones with the new name SDS and the binder must use that name. We had just put the new format SDS sheets in place of the older MSDS sheets as we got them. You must also have a record of training all employees on the use of the SDS format, fine $3,000. Lockout Tagout kit, one padlock missing a key, not enough entries, fine $1200. The $3000 fined items were considered "serious violations." After official negotiation the total was reduced to $7,000.

    Two OSHA inspectors came back a 2nd day and went through all of our training records. They found that the written tests given at the end of forklift training did not have a signature and date under the employees name. There was a test date at the top of the form only. Steps to access the air to air cooler platform, used when cleaning, had non-compliant rise to run. The oldest part of the building didn't have lit exit signs. These items did not show up on the final list.
    All employees were interrogated, one at a time, in a private office. With 12 employees this took 4 hours. Two employees refused.
    Two inspectors came back a 3rd time to watch equipment be run. They asked employees about their training and setup procedures. They left W/O comment.

    If I remember correctly, with less than 10 employees you are not subject to OSHA fines unless you have a serious accident. May be time to terminate.
    We have been inspected too and it was the dumbest stuff that they fined us for. What really got my goat was when the inspector asked for what was essentially a bribe in an attempt to entrap me.

    There was a sheet metal shop near us who had a bunch of old school shears and brakes without the latest safety technology. I think the fines put them out of business.

    Isn't it possible to refuse OSHA entry into your shop? I thought I remember reading about a company that did that in the Wall Street Journal.

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    This is typical of bureaucracy run amok. In Massachusetts truckers get pulled over all the time and rack up heavy fines for things like a small part of a label on a fuel tank damaged and similar chicken shit. It seems that collecting fines is more important than safety.

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    I remember going through that crap. The OSHA lady sat there and argued with us about not having a ground terminal on the cord of portable grinders and drills. I showed her the little double circle symbol indicating they were double insulated. Further arguing. She finally dropped it and moved on to the air blow guns looking for the required vent holes.

    We also got hit on the MSDS and labeling of refillable bottles. Got hit for an extension cord with electrical tape on it (I still own it, I just took it home after they tagged it), and some highly subjective trip hazard stuff.

    We had an outside contract "safety consultant" who did our training and was supposed to make sure we were good to go. He said something about use "getting off easy". I suggested we send him a bill for the total of the fines...

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    A good idea gone so wrong... nobody wants to get hurt at work and owners shouldn't be allowed to make employees do unsafe things or work in an unsafe environment.

    DOT fines are INSANE... heavy haul trucker was hauling a massive mud pump in the balkans, got pulled over and on his manifest it showed one item, the mud pump. Problem was he also had FOUR suction hoses on the trailer for said mud pump. These were 8' long hoses with quick coupler ends weighing maybe 400 pounds total, boom $120,000 fine.

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    Very similar experience ourselves after an employee quit. The inspector checked all six complaints(that somebody had obviously helped them word) and was happy they were all bogus. Checked a few other things and was pretty happy. Came back the 2nd day and found 12k worth of fines for us. It's easy see how they get the reputation.

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    fuck OSHA right up their asshole. one of my most hated organizations

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    I am so sorry, the creepy part is you are in Nebraska, sounds like something that would happen from a local authority in Cali.

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    When I still worked in maintenance, our group got dinged by MIOSHA for spit bottle one of us had under the bench. Improperly labeled as Mountain Dew. I think that got negotiated away.

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    It's funny though, our only recent experience with OSHA (and TOSHA) has been positive. But the difference is, we invited them in, instead of them being called in. Instead of fines, we were left with suggestions and deadlines to fulfill them by, and there was a LOT - SDS stuff, training, safety program etc.. But to my knowledge, no fines... it may depend on the jackwagon that does the inspection, but it may put you on better terms to invite them in and get compliant before they bust in with guns and sirens... maybe, maybe not. I hate that you had a bad time with them, it's a shame.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JDennis View Post
    I think that got negotiated away.
    Should have got you fired.

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    We've had the voluntary inspections, fixed all the bitches. All of this go round's stuff, except the MSDS/SDS, was in place when the voluntary was done. I find it hard to believe there is any shop that could pass everything. Just knowing everything would be quite a feat. There were several things they commented on but didn't fine us for: Older machines W/O safety interlocks on all access panels (they went over the manuals for those machines to verify they weren't there to start with & told us we should have them retro fitted,) smudged or dirty safety decals, Operator manuals not attached, or too far away from machines, list of employees authorized to use each machine on the machine. OSHA is self funded by their fines!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Larry42 View Post
    OSHA is self funded by their fines!
    No, they are not. Nor does having less than 10 employees get you off the hook.

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    If the inspection is due to an employee complaint being below 10 will not save you.
    The only safe spot is small farm or when all employees are family members.
    Below ten in most machine shops and you don't get the random or programmed checkups.
    It's a complicated set of rules. In your case it sounds like cutting staff would not matter.
    I have found the best practice is to be as friendly and open as possible and show them that we are trying hard to dot the I's and cross the T's and even ask them for advice.
    You catch more with honey.
    Nobody gets by with zip. My lunchroom microwave had a leaky door seal.... I did not know there was even a test for this.
    Play nicely and maybe you get a fix-it without a fine. Show hate for them and maybe not so.
    Safety guys at all levels inside or outside are are still people just like you and me. They have a mission and a passion.
    Rev them up and you will not do well as they are used to that. Welcome them with open arms and help me may produce other results.
    The rule of ten is not the law when a unhappy employee leaves.
    Bob

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    MSHA (Mine Safety and Health Administration) is self funding. That being said we currently are 2 or 3 weeks into the bi yearly inspection.....over 100 violations so far. Have around 5000+ people who work at the mine. Your gonna have something with that many people. They follow OSHA laws & regulations, MSHA laws regulations and the kicker.........if your policies are to a "higher standard" you'll get dinged with violations of your own policies and procedures.

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    If your solution to this is to fire 2 people I can see why you have referrals from employees.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kustomizingkid View Post
    A good idea gone so wrong... nobody wants to get hurt at work and owners shouldn't be allowed to make employees do unsafe things or work in an unsafe environment.

    DOT fines are INSANE... heavy haul trucker was hauling a massive mud pump in the balkans, got pulled over and on his manifest it showed one item, the mud pump. Problem was he also had FOUR suction hoses on the trailer for said mud pump. These were 8' long hoses with quick coupler ends weighing maybe 400 pounds total, boom $120,000 fine.
    For some one not from America could you please explain why they were fined so much of carrying 4 hoses?

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    Having just 10 employees might not save you from them, but having zero and a few robots or sending all the work to China does.

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    Quote Originally Posted by snapatap View Post
    For some one not from America could you please explain why they were fined so much of carrying 4 hoses?

    OSHA, or really most regulatory organizations (Dot is just as bad), don't really exist for their stated purpose, but instead they exist for the sake of levying fines, and being an overall impediment to production.

    In the case of the 4 hoses, it wasn't that they were hoses, but that they were items not on the bill of lading. The fine was just for the paperwork issue, not for any real safety issue, and I'm guessing each of the 4 hoses got an individual fine, the 4 of which adding up to that sum.

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    tn doesn't do osha, The industrial park I work in has 1 to 2 deaths a month (meat packer, nuclear decontamination, corn syrup, refinery, rice barges, bean terminals, etc.), and people still talk about when tosha nailed everybody 12 years ago... with fines of almost a thousand dollars. a death is a 750 dollar fine - looking at past year of violations in TN (all 30 of them with fines) looks like settlement out is 500 to 250. TOSHA has more people after unemployement fraud than safety, because that is primary enforcement duty.
    calling wifes tale on truck fines... even at max bill of lading error (150 per...not 120,000). 40000 lbs overweight - 40 thousand is 10 thousand fine. TxDPS - CVE Permits for Over-Size or Overweight Vehicles not even listed as a fine by FMCSA.


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