by , on March 31, 2016

An Arkansas custom door company, Primecraft Doors in Malvern, was given thirty-two OSHA citations, twenty-seven of them serious.

The proposed penalties are over $65, 000. Some of the citations are as follows:

  • The employer failed to make sure employees were trained in and understood procedures to shut down energy during times of maintenance. No program had been established at this location to make sure proper lock out/tag out procedures were being performed, and no periodic inspections of the program were taking place. 1910.147(c)(1)
    • NFPA 70E 120.1 states that companies must apply lockout/tagout devices in accordance with a documented and established policy. 120.2 gives a detailed explanation of the lockout/tagout program and what it should contain.
  • Electrical equipment was plugged in using an extension cord that was not in accordance with its UL listing. 1910.303(b)(2)
    • NFPA 70E 130.2(A)(4) states that “properly installed means that the equipment is installed in accordance with applicable industry codes and standards and the manufacturer’s recommendations.”
  • Other electrical equipment did not have proper labeling that should have marked voltage, current, wattage, or any other necessary markings. 1910.303(e)(1)(ii)
  • No legible markings were found on service, feeder, and branch circuits to let employees know the equipment’s purpose. 1910.303(f)(2)
    • e-Hazard recommends that all equipment have the following labels: fed-from and name of equipment, or what the disconnect specifically feeds. Also, we recommend arc-flash labels as required by NFPA 70E.
  • Obstructions, including extension cords, barred safe access in and around passageways, storerooms, exit routes, and service rooms; these obstructions posed tripping hazards for employees. 1910.22(a)(1),  1910.37(a)(3)
  • A few different pieces of equipment either had inadequate guarding or did not have guarding at all to prevent employees from getting caught in the equipment as they were being operated. 1910.213(d)(1), 1910.213(h)(1)

You can click on the above links to read OSHA’s 1910 standards for each citation.

Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure

It is critical that companies understand and follow electrical guidelines required by OSHA, legally-adopted standards like the National Electrical Code (NFPA 70), and Industry Best Practice standards like NFPA 70E and 70B. Following these guidelines will reduce the likelihood of injuries and fatalities, and will lessen the chance of citation from a surprise OSHA inspection and subsequent fine(s) as mentioned above. In Primecraft’s case, OSHA had received a complaint of unsafe work practices at this location, which prompted OSHA’s investigation.

OSHA can cite a company for violating existing OSHA requirements. OSHA cannot necessarily cite a company for not following NFPA 70E; however, when OSHA requirements are more general, OSHA looks to 70E for industry best practice. If your company policy makes 70E a requirement to follow, and an injury or fatality occurs when 70E is not adhered to, then the company could get itself in a legal battle for failure to follow company safety policy. 

Learn more about e-Hazard’s electrical safety training courses like our Low Voltage, High Voltage, 40-hour NEC Industrial course, and others.

 


Hugh Hoagland
About author:
Hugh Hoagland is the foremost tester of clothing and PPE exposed to electrical arcs and is an arc flash expert. Read more about Hugh.

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