Pa.: Manufacturer Fined $1 Million for 'Serial' Safety Violations

By Rosemarie Lally Jun 9, 2015
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A ventilation manufacturer based in Pennsylvania recently was fined $1 million by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for dozens of injuries suffered by its employees due to hazardous work conditions.

OSHA has fined the company, Lloyd Industries, more than $1 million since 2000 for “serial violations” of safety standards. The company also has been placed in the agency’s “Severe Violator Enforcement Program,” which focuses on the worst violators and targets them for follow-up inspections.

Lloyd Industries Inc. manufacturers the ventilation, duct, and fire safety products used in New York's Chrysler Building, Philadelphia International Airport, and several sports stadiums, including the New York Yankees’ and Baltimore Ravens’ venues.

The most recent inspection of the firm was initiated in response to one worker losing three fingers last summer. In that incident, the die on a press brake machine dropped on the worker’s hand, amputating three fingers. The machine did not have required safety guards and had not been in proper working order before the accident.

The owner, William Lloyd, was aware of these deficiencies, according to OSHA. During one inspection he complained to the federal inspectors that the protective machine guards slowed production. He also made a conscious decision in 2013 to stop an audiometric testing program required to prevent employee hearing loss, OSHA found. The testing only resumed in December 2014, after OSHA's investigation.

Lloyd allegedly had demonstrated a pattern of defiance toward OSHA safety standards since 2000, promising to correct hazardous conditions but failing to do so. At one point, OSHA officials had to summon U.S. federal marshals to gain entrance to the plant, even though they had a warrant to enter.

The company’s continuing failure to provide a safe working environment to its employees has resulted in approximately 40 serious injuries since that time, including crushed, fractured, dislocated, and amputated fingers and serious lacerations.

In its latest inspection, OSHA issued 10 willful violations based on the company’s repeated failure to guard machines, and to provide annual audiometric tests. The company also was cited for three willful, four serious, and seven other-than-serious violations for electrical hazards, noise protection, and recordkeeping violations.

Rosemarie Lally, J.D., is a freelance legal writer and editor based in Washington, D.C.
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