Federal officials have cited a San Antonio, Texas-based cabinet manufacturer with 29 safety and health violations and a proposed penalty of $267,434.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Cardell Cabinetry LLC for failing to remove hazardous levels of combustible dust at the company’s facility on North Panam Expressway in San Antonio.
OSHA’s San Antonio Area Office initiated the February inspection as both a follow-up and complaint inspection.
Combustible dusts include fine particles, fibers, chips, chunks or flakes that, under certain conditions, can cause a fire or explosion when suspended in air. Types of dusts include metal-for example, aluminum and magnesium-wood, plastic, rubber, coal, flour, sugar and paper.
The three repeat violations, with a penalty of $99,000, were cited for failing to remove combustible wood dust, cover electrical boxes and reduce the pressure of compressed air. 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 in 2012.
A failure-to-abate violation, with a penalty of $34,034, was cited because the employer failed to remove combustible wood dust from the parts mill area. The same violation was cited in 2012.
A failure-to-abate notice applies to a condition, hazard or practice that, found upon re-inspection at the employer site, was the same as originally cited and not corrected.
Some of the 24 serious safety and health violations, with a penalty of $134,400, were cited for failing to provide adequate guarding on machinery; ensure electrical knockouts were covered; provide required personal protective equipment; administer audiometric exams to affected workers; lockout or tagout energy sources; ensure loads were secured and stable to prevent shifting; and provide an effective hearing conservation program.
A serious citation is issued 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.
The one other-than-serious health violation, with no monetary penalty, is for failing to annually fit test workers required to wear respirators.
An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.
“The sizable penalties proposed here reflect the severity of the various hazardous conditions found at this facility, including the accumulation of combustible dust that can lead to a needless catastrophic incident,” said Kelly C. Knighton, director of OSHA’s San Antonio Area Office. “The fact that such an incident has not occurred does not absolve Cardell Cabinetry of its responsibility to find and eliminate hazards that could endanger workers’ lives.”
Cardell Cabinetry specializes in kitchen cabinet manufacturing and employs about 1,100 workers. It has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director in San Antonio or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.