August 3, 2016
Employer name: Prairie State Generating Company
Citations issued: July 29, 2016
Investigation findings: The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued three repeated and four serious safety violations to Prairie State Generating Company for exposing workers to machine hazards. OSHA opened its investigation in May 2016, after receiving a complaint alleging unsafe working conditions.
The agency found the company failed to:
OSHA’s inspection found the employer failed to:
Develop machine specific safety procedures to control hazardous energy sources.
Conduct periodic inspections of energy control procedures.
Follow procedures to isolate multiple sources of energy to operating machines.
Train workers in machine safety procedures.
Inspect work areas and equipment prior to removing lockout/tag out devices.
OSHA previously cited Prairie State Generating Company for similar hazards in 2012, 2013 and 2014.
Quote: “OSHA has specific guidelines to protect workers from dangerous machinery. By following these energy isolating procedures, employers can prevent workers from coming in contact with machine operating parts, preventing serious injuries,” said Aaron Priddy, OSHA’s area director in Fairview Heights. “Lack of machine safety procedures cause hundreds of serious work injuries each year and are among the hazards OSHA most frequently cites. When OSHA cites employers like Prairie State Generating for repeat violations of the same safety standards, it shows a real lack of concern for employee safety. This is unacceptable and changes must be made immediately.”
Proposed Penalties: $67,700.
View Citations here.
Background: Prairie State Energy Campus includes a coal-fired generating plant and adjacent coal mine. The facility generates 1,600 megawatts of power, with 100 percent of the output dedicated to nine Midwestern-based public power utilities that provided energy to 2.5 million homes.
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report amputations, eye loss, workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA’s toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency’s Fairview Heights Area Office at 618-632-8612.