OSHA Cites Conveyor Maker for Safety Violations

April 27, 2011
The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited Webb-Stiles of Alabama Inc., manufacturers of custom conveyor systems, for 21 safety and health violations. The citations, carrying fines of $69,300, were issued after OSHA conducted an inspection under its Site-Specific Targeting Program focused on industries with high injury and illness rates.

OSHA issued Webb-Stiles of Alabama citations for two repeat safety violations with $16,200 in fines. The violations are failing to conduct periodic inspections of the energy control procedures for employees performing servicing and maintenance on equipment, and machine guarding hazards. A repeat violation exists 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. In November 2009, the company's corporate office in Valley City, Ohio, was cited for similar violations.

The agency also issued the company citations for 14 serious violations with $53,100 in fines. Some of the safety-related violations include exposing employees to slip, trip and fall hazards; electrical deficiencies; not having handrails on stairs; and failing to provide workers with flameproof screens and shields. Health-related violations include an insufficient eyewash station and not offering the Hepatitis B vaccination series to designated first aid responders. 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 received citations for three other-than-serious safety violations: damaged electrical cords, unprotected work lamps and a missing electrical cover. In addition, two other-than-serious health violations were cited: not providing a medical evaluation to an employee performing spray painting operations wearing a half-mask respirator, and the employee not being fit-tested to wear a half-mask respirator. No monetary penalties were proposed for these violations. 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.

"This company continues to put its workers' safety and health at risk by exposing them to a variety of hazardous conditions," said Roberto Sanchez, OSHA's area director in Birmingham. "OSHA's standards must be followed to avoid injuries and fatalities."