OSHA Cites Parker Hannifin for Exposing Workers to Amputation, Electrical Hazards at Wisconsin Plant


Grantsburg, WI (WorkersCompensation.com) – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Parker Hannifin Corp. with nine safety violations at the company's metal fabricating plant in Grantsburg, including two repeat violations for failing to protect workers from amputation and electrical hazards by ensuring the use of machine guards on mills and conducting periodic inspections of energy control procedures. An inspection was initiated after OSHA received a complaint. Proposed penalties total $123,300.

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. Similar violations were cited at Parker Hannifin facilities in Batesville, Miss., in May 2011 and Columbus, Ohio, in February 2010.

Seven serious safety violations involve forcing employees to work over unprotected acid vats and dip tanks, failing to inspect the ventilation system for the acid vats thoroughly and often, failing to provide sufficient lockout procedures, failing to properly mark electrical equipment, failing to cover numerous unused openings in energized electrical panels, failing to train workers on electrical safety, de-energize electrical equipment prior to allowing maintenance and failing to provide workers with personal protective equipment while working near exposed energized parts. 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.

"Employers are responsible for establishing a safe environment and taking all necessary precautions to protect workers against amputation hazards and other known workplace dangers," said Mark Hysell, director of OSHA's Eau Claire Area Office. "OSHA is committed to protecting workers on the job, especially when employers fail to do so."

Parker Hannifin Corp., headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, has facilities throughout the United States and in 46 other countries. The Grantsburg plant, which manufactures fluid power valves and hose fittings, among other products, employs about 300 workers. The employer has a history of previous violations at its Mississippi, New York and Ohio operations.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

The citations in the current case may be viewed at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/Parker-Hannifin-Corporation_190630_07-27-12.pdf*.

To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Eau Claire office at 715-882-1147.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.

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