RWS Manufacturing Cited for Repeat Violations
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) conducted an inspection of RWS Manufacturing Inc., a miscellaneous wood product manufacturing company, on Jan 13, 2016, as a follow-up to a previous 2012 inspection which yielded a total of 22 violations. That follow-up inspection revealed several extant violations, with a variety of dust-related hazards among them. Inspection found that the company failed to correct issues with the dust collection system that were occurring, years prior.
Robert Garvey, OSHA- Albany area director, said, “RWS Manufacturing has disregarded its employees’ safety in failing to correct an obvious fire and explosion hazard and in allowing the existence of new and recurring hazards. Especially disturbing is the fact that, since OSHA’s last inspection, a significant fire occurred in the plant’s production area, in December 2015. For the safety and well-being of its employees RWS Manufacturing must take immediate, comprehensive, and effective action to correct these hazards once and for all.”
Besides the recurring violations, agency representatives identified a number of new items in their follow-up inspection, including:
• Failure to address combustible dust related fire and explosion hazards for conveyor equipment
• Inoperable spark detection/fire suppression system.
• Failure to inspect fire extinguishers annually and maintain them in fully charged and operable condition
• Failure to remove accumulations of combustible wood dust and shavings on rafters and other surfaces
• Failure to remove piles of wood dust and shavings on floors that could potentially create fire, slip, trip, and fall hazards
OSHA issued RWS Manufacturing Inc. subsequent citations for their failure to abate those citations from the previous inspection. The newly cited violations include two repeat and three serious violations. The company faces a proposed penalty of $197,820. For further reference, the citations can be viewed, here.
Dust-related hazards are a liability in a general industry environment. Undergoing an OSHA-accepted training course is recommended for all employers and employees in the manufacturing workplace.