Safety Violations at Fort Bragg puts North Carolina Military Workers in Danger

The United States Army’s Fort Bragg base issued 37 health and safety violations by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration after an inspection that was performed under OSHA’s Federal Agency Targeting Inspection Program (FEDTARG), according to a recent press release.

Our North Carolina workers’ compensation lawyers in Asheville know that FEDTARG is a program designed to inspect federal agency job sites that have a large number of cases involving time lost as a result of accidents. Federal agencies must adhere to the same safety standards as everyone else and must ensure a safe work environment for employees.
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The base was cited for two repeat violations involving abrasive wheel equipment hazards. Work rests and tongue guards were either missing or not adjusted properly, which could lead to workers being exposed to shrapnel if the abrasive wheel shattered. Because the Frankfort, Kentucky base had been cited previously for these same issues less than five years ago, a repeat violation was issued.

A total of fourteen serious violations were found including:

-Missing guard rails causing a potential fall hazard to workers.

-Kickback protection missing from a ripsaw.

-Machine guards were missing from a crosscut table saw and a lower section blade.

-There were no lockout/tagout protocols.

-Employees working on electrical pop-up targets weren’t given proper training on dangerous energy sources.

-Dangerous energy source training was lacking for workers engaged in fixing mechanical targets.

Electrical dangers included:

-A multi-outlet power strip was fastened on a wall and was in use.

-Electrical panels had missing markings.

-Extension cords had missing ground plugs.

-Covers were missing from junction boxes.

-Flexible cords were used instead of fixed wiring.

-Workers didn’t have personal protective equipment while working on electrical panels.

-Training was lacking for workers regarding electric arc flash protection.

-A qualified worker didn’t test equipment ensuring that the electrical paths were without energy prior to an unqualified worker being exposed to them.

OSHA discovered three serious health violations that included poorly lit exit routes, combustible and flammable material were in areas where workers were permitted to smoke and there was no documented hazard communication plan.

During the inspection OSHA also found one other-than-serious safety violation issued because an electrical panel was obstructed by a pallet and 17 other-than-serious health violations. The health violations consisted of five occurrences of not correctly logging illnesses and injuries on OSHA’s 300 log during 2006 to 2010 and five cases of not certifying OSHA’s 300 log from 2006 to 2010.

The rest of the violations included restrooms that did not have soap and hot water; fire extinguishers that did not have yearly maintenance checks nor were they installed correctly; workers who were not certified to operate powered industrial vehicles. Additionally, workers did not get information about the hazards of working with lead.

OSHA is in charge of the inspection of federal agency locations but private sector inspections are the responsibility of North Carolina. Executive Order 12196 states that federal agencies are required to obey the identical health and safety standards as the private sector. Federal agencies are given notices and can not be fined, where as the private sector are given citations and receive proposed monetary penalties for unsafe working conditions.

If you or a family member is dealing with a work place accident or a workers’ compensation or disability claim in North or South Carolina, contact the Lee Law Offices, P.A. today for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call 1-800-887-1965.

More Blog Entries:
New Phone App Can Help Prevent Work-Related Heat Illness at Asheville Job Sites and Elsewhere, North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Blog, August 22, 2011.

Worker from Greensboro Awarded $122,199 for Injury Claim Against Railroad Company, North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Blog, August 18, 2011.

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