Focus Direct Cited by OSHA for Violations

SAN ANTONIO—The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Focus Direct with 12 serious, one repeat and four other-than-serious safety and health violations after an inspection found that workers were exposed to amputation hazards at the company’s facility here. Proposed penalties total $83,000.

Focus Direct, which employs about 170 workers and specializes in printing direct mail advertisements, had 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.

OSHA’s San Antonio area office initiated a safety and health inspection last Dec. 22 at the company’s facility, which found that employees were exposed to unguarded rollers on printing presses.

“A lack of guards on printing presses can lead to serious injuries, including amputations,” said Jeff Funke, OSHA’s San Antonio area office director. “OSHA’s standards must be followed to protect employees.”

Serious violations include failing to provide adequate machine guarding of printing presses, provide training on energy control procedures, ensure adequate training to render first aid and ensure that all electrical components were maintained. A serious violation occurs 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 repeat violation was cited for failing to ensure electrical cords were in working order, free from strain relief. 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. In May 2006, Focus Direct was cited for the same violation with proposed penalties of $20,000.

Other-than-serious violations include failing to record an injury on the OSHA 300 log within seven days of a recordable incident and ensuring that fire extinguishers were readily accessible. 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.