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Recycled Glass Manufacturer in Hot Water Over Repeated Safety Violations

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​​​​.

The Investigation

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’s View

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

Read our safety talk about how to ensure a secure working environment and share it in your safety meetings. 

Holmes Foods Inc. Faces Heavy Fines for Ignoring Safety Regulations

NIXON, TEXAS – OSHA has brought to light serious safety violations at Holmes Foods Inc., a Texas-based poultry processor. The company is now facing proposed penalties amounting to $60,269 for endangering the wellbeing of its employees​.

OSHA’s Inspection

A scheduled OSHA inspection on March 15, 2023, under its Regional Emphasis Program for Poultry Processing Facilities, revealed that the company failed to adhere to crucial safety standards. These violations stem from a broader concern in the poultry processing industry renowned for its ergonomic hazards with around 50% of the injuries and illnesses in this sector attributed to musculoskeletal disorders​​.

The company failed to provide adequate eye protection, develop lockout/tagout (LOTO) procedures to prevent unexpected activations, and guard rotating shafts, chains, and sprockets.

OSHA Citations

OSHA cited the company for five serious violations, highlighting a significant lapse in ensuring a safe work environment. This goes especially for line workers who are exposed to ergonomic hazards due to repetitive motions and lifting tasks. OSHA Area Director, Monica Munoz, stressed the necessity for adhering to the federal requirements for safeguarding employees, especially those whose jobs are essential to the region’s food supply​.


The industry and the public have reacted with concern to the violations at Holmes Foods Inc., which employs about 500 workers at its Nixon facility. The company, with a history dating back to 1925, has been a significant player in the poultry processing sector, providing ready-to-cook poultry to various food service providers and retail deli markets. The proposed penalties highlight the urgency and the necessity for stringent adherence to safety regulations to prevent long-term injuries to employees, which is an essential aspect of maintaining a company’s reputation and operational integrity​.

Holmes Foods Inc. now has a 15-day window from the receipt of the citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (OSHRC)​.


This case sets a precedent and serves as a stark reminder to other companies in the poultry processing industry and beyond, about the importance of adhering to safety regulations to ensure the well-being of employees and avoid hefty penalties. The enforcement actions by OSHA are a testament to the agency’s commitment to maintain safety standards and hold companies accountable for any lapses, ensuring a safer work environment for all.

The broader implication of such enforcement actions reverberates through the industry, emphasizing the critical role of regulatory compliance in fostering a culture of safety. Take a look at our safety talk on how to reduce injuries and fatalities in various work settings and pass the details onto your colleagues. 

New Jersey Construction Firm Faced with Hefty Fines for Safety Lapses

Irvington, NJ — A New Jersey-based residential construction company, JM Brother Construction LLC, is in hot water following a rigorous OSHA inspection. The firm, noted for its roofing and masonry services, is now faced with hefty fines. The proposed penalties tally up to $77,684 owing to glaring safety violations at a worksite located in Hasbrouck Heights​​​​​.

The matter came to light during a routine OSHA inspection where employees of JM Brother Construction were seen performing roofing work on a two-story residence without the mandated fall protection mechanisms in place. This negligence put the workers at risk of falls from heights up to 23 feet — a hazard that could result in severe injuries or fatalities​​​​.

Further probing unveiled more safety oversights. The firm allowed employees to ride without seat belts in areas of cargo vans unsuitable for passengers. Additionally, there was a reported unsafe use of a ladder. The company failed to safeguard employees from potential head impact injuries, significantly amplifying the risk factor in an already dangerous environment​​.

These findings led to OSHA citing the company for one willful and three serious violations. The proposed penalties reflect the severity of the hazards and the blatant disregard for standard safety protocols. OSHA Area Director stationed in Hasbrouck Heights, Lisa Levy, remarked that JM Brother Construction endangered worker safety by failing to provide necessary fall protection measures. She also highlighted the importance of incorporating such measures in a sector where falls are a leading cause of workplace fatalities​​​​.

The incident underscores the quintessential role of adhering to federal safety laws established to avert potentially crippling injuries or worse outcomes for construction workers. It’s a stark reminder for employers to prioritize the safety of their workforce by ensuring full compliance with official safety standards.

JM Brother Construction LLC now finds itself at a crossroads, with 15 business days to comply with the penalties, request an informal conference with OSHA, or contest the results before the OSHRC.

The incident shines a spotlight on the imperative nature of stringent safety measures in the construction industry, where the propensity for accidents is high. It also highlights the pivotal role of regulatory bodies like OSHA in enforcing compliance with safety laws, thus ensuring a safer working environment for employees.

The case against JM Brother Construction LLC is a clarion call to other firms within the construction realm to ramp up their safety protocols. It’s a poignant reminder that a lax approach to safety can lead to dire consequences, both in human and financial terms. It can adversely affect the reputation and operations of a company in the long run.

Custom Container Solutions Faces Nearly Half a Million in Fines for Hazardous Workplace Conditions

Milton, PA — A prominent Pennsylvania-based manufacturer, Custom Container Solutions, has come under severe criticism following a comprehensive inspection by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The inspection unveiled a slew of safety and health hazards, putting the employees in potentially risky conditions at the company’s Milton facility.

OSHA inspected the facility in March 2023 under its site-specific targeting program. It led to citations for 23 serious, two willful, three repeat, and two other-than-serious violations. The identified hazards ranged from inadequate personal protective equipment for welders to the improper storage of flammable materials, posing significant employee risks.

The investigation revealed a lack of essential safety programs, including a respiratory protection program and a hearing conservation program, among others. OSHA inspectors noted several deficiencies, including improper guards on metal working machinery and the use of an unrated powered industrial truck in a flammable atmosphere.

Custom Container Solutions, known for manufacturing steel containers for various industries, including waste, construction, recycling, and energy, now faces proposed penalties amounting to $484,401. OSHA Area Director Mary Reynolds emphasized the importance of safety and health as core values in every workplace, urging the company to rectify the identified hazards to prevent potential injuries.

With a 15-business-day window to comply, ask for an informal conference with OSHA, or challenge the results, the ball is now in Custom Container Solutions’ court. The company’s response will not only impact its financial standing but also set a precedent for occupational safety standards within the manufacturing industry in Pennsylvania and beyond.

This case underscores the crucial role regulatory bodies like OSHA play in safeguarding the well-being of employees across various sectors. It’s a stark reminder to all employers about their legal and moral obligation towards ensuring a safe and conducive working environment for their workforce​​.

Green Cross for Safety Award 2023 Winners Announced by the National Safety Council

Let’s face it, there are plenty of news stories around about bad safety practices. So, it is refreshing to celebrate those companies that are doing it right and are putting special effort into protecting their employees and the wider community. Hey, let’s chat about the good guys for a change! 

The National Safety Council recently held its Green Cross for Safety Celebration in New Orleans, with the awards being the centerpiece. It is the 24th year of the event, which raises money to help the NSC save lives and prevent injuries, with businesses across the US hustling for the main prize in three categories:

  • Safety Advocate
  • Safety Excellence
  • Safety Innovation

The gloves were off, the battle lines are drawn, and the nominees fought it out in an OSHA-compliant manner with full eye protection as standard. 

2023 Green Cross for Safety Award Winners

Ready with the drumroll? Here we go…

Safety Advocate Award

Congratulations to Schneider, the truckload carrier that fitted its vehicles with Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS) devices that monitor behavior on the road to ascertain whether a driver is under the influence of booze. With 10,000 deaths due to drunk drivers each year, the company wanted to help finesse the technology ahead of it being integrated into private cars. 

Schneider fitted the devices to trucks and racked up 206,634 miles, producing a total of 89,689 samples and 21,784 total sensor operation hours. The guys behind the tech used this rich data to optimize the tech that analyzes the speed, accuracy, and reliability of drivers to detect signs of drunk driving. 

The ability to calibrate the device using Schneider’s impressive mileage has super-sped up the rollout of this new, potentially life-saving technology that will benefit us all. Excellent work, Schneider. 

Safety Excellence Award

We’re always talking about the steps you can take to a safe workplace. But what if the most important step was to get rid of the steps? Well, that’s what drugstore giant Walgreens has done. 

Management at the firm took a deep dive into workers’ compensation claims in its retail environments and found that 40% involved slips, trips, and falls in stockrooms. This gave Walgreens the opportunity to analyze the way it stored its goods and one element that it identified as being of particular concern for safety was the use of ladders. 

Cue the company planning a new way of designing stockrooms so that workers no longer had to use ladders, and rolling it out over 76% of stores so far. The result? A 66% reduction in comp claims for slips, trips, and falls within the stockroom areas. 

The company continues to push for more stores to adopt the design, proving that Walgreens is committed to finding new ways to prevent old problems. 

Safety Innovation Award

When you look after the maintenance and repairs of 90,000 fuel infrastructure assets for the U.S. Department of Defense across remote locations, you have to get things right. And APTIM has done just that. 

The secret of safety is communication and, although they are often spread across multiple locations, employees can use the company’s suite of digital tools to stay connected and to coordinate its safety program. 

The company’s safety and engineering support teams can interact seamlessly in real-time and provide employees with the latest planning, processes, and documentation to do the job in the safest way possible while keeping clients’ regulatory records up to date. Pretty smart, huh?

APTIM realized a significant drop in incident rates as a result, earning the company this prestigious award. 


Well done to these prime examples of good safety practice! We can all be thankful that there are innovative and engaged businesses that seek to make our workplaces a better place to be. 
To help your business put safety first, we have a database of interesting and informative safety talks that will help you spread the good word on-site. Browse the talks right now.