HOUSTON – A Houston-based company, Strategic Materials Inc., faces hefty charges following a series of grave safety violations discovered by OSHA at their Midlothian, Texas site. The company has to pay $370,995 in fines after a complaint lodged on March 9, 2023 prompted a thorough investigation by the OSHA officials.
But this isn’t the first time the recycled glass manufacturer has had a run-in with OSHA, indicating a pattern of neglect towards employee safety.
The company, known for supplying recycled glass to manufacturers, had its safety lapses laid bare during the OSHA inspection. The investigators unearthed a total of 13 violations, which included nine serious, one willful, and three repeat offenses. Among the violations were the lack of required lockout/tagout procedures, exposing employees to fall hazards, failure to enclose sprocket wheels and chains, and neglecting to guard projecting shaft ends.
This recent investigation has shed light on the continuous disregard for safety protocols by Strategic Materials Inc. as previously witnessed in previous inspections and citations in 2021. The repeated violations have not only put the employees at risk but also brought the company under severe scrutiny. The alarming findings reveal a culture of negligence that has persisted over time despite the looming threat of penalties.
OSHA Area Director Timothy Minor voiced his concerns, reiterating the severe implications of such safety lapses, “Strategic Materials Inc. continues to expose workers to some of the general industry’s leading causes of workplace injuries and death.” He further emphasized that employers who willfully disregard their duty to keep workers safe would be held accountable.
Strategic Materials Inc. now has 15 business days following the receipt of the citations and penalties to either comply, arrange an informal discussion with OSHA area director, or contest the findings before the independent OSHRC.
The hefty fines proposed by OSHA are a testament to the seriousness of the violations and a reminder to other companies about the financial and reputational repercussions of ignoring safety regulations. This incident underlines the crucial role of adhering to safety regulations in preventing workplace accidents, injuries, and even fatalities. It’s a wake-up call for companies to ramp up their safety measures and lead a culture of safety.
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