In a recent development, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has raised serious concerns regarding safety and health hazards at the facility of a Pennsylvania-based manufacturer. Custom Container Solutions, located in Milton, Pennsylvania, is now facing the consequences of exposing its employees to a wide range of safety and health risks. Small and midsize business owners, take note of the potential penalties and legal consequences of violating workplace safety regulations.
Employer Exposes Employees to Safety and Health Risks
The inspection at Custom Container Solutions was initiated in March 2023 as part of OSHA’s site-specific targeting program, which led to the identification of multiple violations. The manufacturer now faces citations for a total of 30 violations, including two willful, three repeat, 23 serious, and two other-than-serious violations. These violations highlight various deficiencies in the company’s approach to safety, endangering its employees.
Among the safety and health hazards identified by OSHA were failures to provide essential protective equipment to welders, a lack of a respiratory protection program, and the absence of medical evaluations and training related to respirator use. Additionally, the company failed to establish a hearing conservation program and provide the necessary training in this regard, posed risks through improper storage of flammable materials, and neglected assessments for personal protective equipment. Other concerns included the absence of an energy control program, inadequate machine guarding on metalworking machinery, and the use of an unrated powered industrial truck in a flammable atmosphere. Electrical hazards, such as unmaintained welding leads and exposed live electrical parts, were also noted.
What Happened Next
The penalties Custom Container Solutions faces as a result of these violations amount to a proposed $484,401 in OSHA penalties. The severity of these penalties underscores the importance of maintaining a safe and compliant workplace.
OSHA Area Director Mary Reynolds in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, emphasized the significance of safety and health as core values in every workplace. She pointed out that Custom Container Solutions must address the identified hazards promptly to prevent potential harm to its employees. Custom Container Solutions, with locations in Milton and Hadley, Pennsylvania, specializes in manufacturing steel containers for customers in various industries, including waste management, construction, recycling, and energy.
The company now has 15 business days from the receipt of its citations and penalties to respond. It can choose to comply with the citations, request an informal conference with OSHA, as Custom Container Solutions has done, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
This case serves as a stark reminder to small and midsize business owners about the critical importance of workplace safety. Violations of safety and health regulations can result in substantial penalties and legal consequences. Prioritizing safety not only protects employees but also safeguards a company’s reputation and financial stability. It is imperative that business owners take proactive measures to ensure a safe and compliant work environment to avoid the legal and financial repercussions associated with non-compliance with workplace safety regulations.