HOUSTON—The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration has fined Houston-based Custom Rubber Products L.L.C. a total of $530,392 for four alleged willful workplace safety violations.
OSHA issued the citations against Custom Rubber May 22, saying the company had been cited for all four in 2014, when an employee was severely injured.
The fines were the highest OSHA could issue under law, according to a May 24 OSHA press release.
OSHA's latest inspection at Custom Rubber took place Nov. 30. The fines, $132,598 for each violation, were issued for:
- lack of machine guarding on the No. 7 Summit lathe to protect employees from such hazards as rotating parts, flying chips and sparks;
- lack of machine guarding on the No. 5 Meuser & Co. lathe;
- lack of machine guarding on the No. 6 Summit lathe; and
- lack of machine guarding on the No. 10 Le Blond lathe.
June 11 is the final abatement date OSHA gave Custom Rubber for the alleged violations.
Since the 2014 inspections, Custom Rubber has been in OSHA's Severe Violator Enforcement Program (SVEP), according to OSHA. The SVEP "concentrates resources on inspecting employers who have demonstrated indifference to their OSH Act obligations by willful, repeated, or failure-to-abate violations," the agency said on its website.
Custom Rubber has the choice of paying the fine, requesting an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or contesting the citations with the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Officials of Custom Rubber could not immediately be reached for comment.