Thursday, Sep 20, 2018
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Fines total $240K for firms cited by OSHA

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Four Ohio companies have been fined a combined $240,569 for safety violations found by federal inspectors at the companies’ worksites in northwest Ohio.

The largest fine, $92,014, was assessed to the Casey Bortles Co., a roofing firm located in Holland, for work performed in April at 1466 Blackhawk Dr. in Waterville.

The company was cited for three “willful” category violations and two “serious” violations. All the violations related to workers on scaffolding or roofs and not having adequate equipment or prevention programs to avoid falling hazards while working at heights 17 feet above the ground.

The company already was facing fines totaling $125,688 for violations found at a work site on Pray Boulevard at the Colony at Waterville Landing in Waterville last September. The company has been cited for falling hazard violations five times since 2014.

Another roofing contractor, the Juve Guzman Co. of Columbus, was fined $61,157 for one “repeat” violation, two willful violations, and one serious violation during an inspection May at a worksite in Findlay.

The violations related to inadequate safety measures for employees working at heights of 10 feet. The repeat violation was for not maintaining a safety program that identified hazards after previously being cited for the problem in May, 2016.

A Sandusky flower and garden center, Corso’s, was fined $60,975 and cited for six serious violations during an inspection in May at a company site in Lakeside, Ohio. An employee was cutting concrete bricks to construct a patio fire pit but he was using a dry saw, and the employer did not provide him with a tight-fitting dust mask, exposing the employee to harmful crystalline silica dust.

Lastly, Kraft Heinz Food Co. was fined $26,423 at its plant in Fremont when inspectors detected four serious violations during an inspection of the facility in June. The food company, based in Chicago, was cited for inadequate safety guards around a labeling machine, a filler machine, and a conveyor belt and inadequate lighting in damp and wet locations.

Under federal rules, a company cited for an OSHA safety violation has 15 business days from receipt of citations and penalties to comply, seek an informal conference with agency officials, or contest the findings before the independent review commission.

Contact Blade Business Writer Jon Chavez at jchavez@theblade.com or 419-724-6128.

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