On November 6, 2013 OSHA published a news release regarding their recent citation of a Hampton, NH manufacturing plant. The company cited is a textile manufacturer, and has been in business since 1954. According to the manufacturer’s website, they are ISO 9001:2008 certified, have an impressive executive management roster, and also go to the trouble of making a statement regarding their commitment to safety. On paper the company looks great. However, according to the news release the manufacturer was cited for 21 serious violations of workplace safety. The hazards for which they are being cited for include potential electrocution, arc flash, burns, amputation, crushing and laceration injuries, hearing loss, being caught in unguarded or unexpectedly activated machinery or trapped in toxic or oxygen-deficient confined spaces. So what happened?
Barring the possibility that management was turning a blind eye to worker safety, or worse, ignoring complaints from workers about their safety, it seems like a company like this one would stand behind their safety programs. Is it gross negligence or ignorance? It’s likely they have a safety committee that meets regularly, and it’s likely they have safety programs; however they may be just like hundreds of other manufacturers around the country who think they are doing the right thing with regard to worker safety, but are missing some vital information.
Before you receive an OSHA citation worth $115,000 and definitely before anything happens to one of your employees it is time to take action. It’s time to stop leaving safety to someone whose full time job is not safety. Professional organizations like United Alliance Services can partner with you to perform site safety audits and develop health and safety programs. Your first audit should never be prompted by an employee phone call to OSHA. Be proactive and engage an OSHA occupational safety professional today.