The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced on July 25 that it issued citations for alleged health and safety violations to Bushnell Illinois Tank Co., which operates a manufacturing facility in Valley, Nebraska, in response to a follow-up investigation of its facility. The federal safety agency also issued a fine totalling $116,270.
OSHA's original investigation was conducted in January 2011 after inspectors discovered that worksite managers had failed to institute proper safety procedures for employees who were entering confined spaces, such as proper protective measures to prevent entrapment or the inhalation of toxic materials. Bushnell Illinois was issued a repeat violation, which according to OSHA is an infraction related to one identified within the past five years.
The federal safety agency discovered four other repeat violations, including the failure to evaluate confined space dangers, monitor the environment within enclosed areas for potential hazards, conduct training for employees who work under such conditions and issue protective clothing to workers in the confined worksites. In addition to these allegations, OSHA investigators identified problems relating to respirator system safeguards and chemical exposure prevention protocols that were not properly enforced.
"Employers have a responsibility to protect the safety of their workers on the job and to know the unique hazards that exist in their work environments," Charles Adkins, the area director for Kansas City's OSHA office, said in the safety agency's press release. "Employers who are cited for repeat violations or in follow-up inspections have failed to demonstrate a commitment to workers' safety and health."
Companies that operate manufacturing facilities like the one run by Bushnell Illinois can avoid regulatory citation by providing workers with adequate safety gear and up-to-date occupational health codes. By taking these steps, businesses can focus more time on growth and spend less time worrying about fines.
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