$487,000 in Fines Against Parker Hannifin in Mississippi for Safety and Health Violations

 
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
 

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued 33 citations to the Parker Hannifin Corp. plant in Batesville, alleging numerous safety and health violations as the result of an inspection that began November 2010. Proposed penalties total $487,700. Cleveland, Ohio-based Parker Hannifin has 170 facilities throughout the U.S. and manufactures machinery for hydraulics, air conditioning, refrigeration and aerospace systems.

OSHA issued 16 repeat citations with $407,000 in fines. Fifteen are safety-related and cover such violations as allowing the air pressure to exceed more than 30 pounds per square inch for cleaning equipment, failing to conduct periodic inspections of the lockout/tagout process in place to prevent accidental energy start-up, failing to train workers on lockout/tagout procedures, failing to unblock exit doors and routes, failing to provide machine guarding and failing to correct electrical deficiencies. One health-related violation was cited for failing to attach hazardous warning labels to five dipping tanks that contained hazardous substances such as potassium hydroxide and isoparaffinic hydrocarbon. 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. The repeat violations are based on previous inspections conducted at other company locations, including a facility in Olive Branch.

OSHA issued 17 serious citations with $80,700 in fines. Fifteen are safety-related and include such violations as exposing employees to struck-by hazards due to a defective safety latch on a hoist and damaged hooks on an overhead crane; allowing unapproved electrical equipment to be used in a hazardous location where flammable chemicals were present; failing to remove and replace spiral stairs with a conventional stairways; failing to post signage indicating the direction of travel to the nearest exit; failing to provide a danger permit-required confined space sign; failing to mark a web sling with the rated load capacity; and failing to require workers to wear goggles or suitable eye protection while welding. Two health-related citations cover failing to establish an effective hearing program and to provide personal protective equipment. 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.

"Companies that cut corners at the expense of worker safety must be held accountable," said OSHA Assistant Secretary Dr. David Michaels. "In this case, Parker Hannifin not only failed to make safety its top priority, but the company ignored many violations that OSHA previously had brought to its attention."


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