Last month, OSHA visited America’s Fiberglass Animals in Minden for a follow-up visit. To put it lightly, the follow-up visit did not go well. OSHA slapped America’s Fiberglass Animals with nearly $170,000.00 in penalties. This hefty penalty certainly makes me wonder how you are doing in your OSHA compliance.

Here is a breakdown of the penalties. They fell into three categories:

• $63,000.00 related to fines for failure to abate for America’s Fiberglass Animals’ failure to provide fit-testing and medical evaluations for employees who were required to wear respirators;

• $74,000.00 in penalties stemmed from the use of unrated electrical systems and equipment in a location where combustible dust accumulated, lack of mechanical ventilation and the presence of ignition sources inside an area where flammable liquids were sprayed; and

• $32,000.00 in fines were serious violations involving improperly stored flammable chemicals; allowing hazardous materials to accumulate in a spray area, allowing employees to consume food and beverages in an area exposed to toxic materials, and failing to train workers on the use of fire extinguishers.

It certainly appears that some rather simple steps would have reduced, if not prevented, some of these fines. These fines also highlight the importance of training for employees.

This situation should serve as a reminder to all of us that OSHA is very, very serious about employee safety and that you do not want to be the subject of this kind of press release.