Arc Flash & Electrical Safety News

Blog Author Steve Hudgik

Monday, April 25, 2011

OSHA fines LM Wind Power Blades of Grand Forks, ND, $136,500

OSHA has cited wind turbine blade manufacturer LM Wind Power Blades Inc. in Grand Forks, formerly LM Glasfiber Inc., with 11 alleged health and safety violations for exposing workers to unsafe conditions following an OSHA inspection that began in October 2010. The agency has proposed $136,500 in penalties.

Two willful violations are failing to ensure that entry supervisors canceled the confined space permit and terminated the entry operation when prohibited conditions were found, and to ensure entry attendants immediately ordered the evacuation of a confined space upon discovery of conditions dangerous to life or health. A willful violation exists when an employer has demonstrated either an intentional disregard for the requirements of the law or plain indifference to employee safety and health.

Five repeat violations address failing to provide adequate respirators for conditions immediately dangerous to life or health; purge or ventilate the atmospheric hazards within a confined space; prevent employee overexposure to styrene levels exceeding the time, weighted average and ceilings limits; and implement effective engineering controls regarding ventilation of the confined space. 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.

Four serious violations are failing to provide appropriate personal protective equipment, conduct effective confined space monitoring, perform retraining of employees when required and maintain an accurate count of entrants in permit-required confined spaces. 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.

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