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Ohio company fined heavily, placed in special OSHA program

Company administrators from an Ohio manufacturing enterprise deemed problematic by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration will now find out what OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program (SVEP) is all about.

It won’t make life easier for Reliable Castings Corp., located in Shelby County in the city of Sidney.

Placement in SVEP follows a determination by OSHA inspectors that a company oversees a flatly dangerous work environment for its employees, with business principals not doing all they can to reasonably ensure that workers’ safety is promoted and on-the-job injuries are minimized. As stated by a recent media article discussing SVEP, the OSHA program “focuses on recalcitrant employers that endanger workers by committing willful, repeat or failure-to-abate violations.”

According to OSHA investigators, Reliable Castings fits the bill. An agency inspection turned up a number of safety and health violations that inspectors felt warranted citations and material sanctions.

In fact, Reliable Castings was cited for 14 violations, with most of those being deemed willful or serious. The company faces a proposed penalty of $293,700.

In commenting on Reliable Castings and the fine, an area director for OSHA stated that agency inspectors “found a facility with multiple hazards and where safety was continually compromised.”

The company was cited for four willful violations, which are issued by OSHA when it determines that an employer has displayed flat indifference to workers’ safety or knowingly disregards legal requirements.

Eight serious violations were handed down. Federal regulators deem a violation serious when an employer knows or should know that a hazard exists, with that hazard being capable of killing or seriously injuring a worker.

The violations covered a wide spectrum of safety concerns, including these: failure to safeguard against molten splash hazards; failure to install guardrails near floor openings; and failure to shield electricity from water.

Reliable Castings will now face stepped-up enforcement from OSHA, being subject to targeted follow-up inspections and the issuance of additional safety citations.

Source: WorkersCompensation.com, "Multiple safety hazards garner Ohio corp sizable fine," Dec. 31, 2013

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