Region 2 News Release: NY 215
October 26, 2000
Contact: Chester J. Fultz
WILLIAMSON, NEW YORK, CHEMICAL FIRM CITED BY OSHA FOR ALLEGED FAILURE TO ABATE VIOLATIONS; $58,800 IN PENALTIES PROPOSED
The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Thatcher Company of New York, of 4135 Route 104, Williamson, New York, and proposed penalties of $58,800 against the firm for one alleged failure to abate, one alleged repeat violation, and one alleged serious violation of OSHA standards. The company has until November 13 to contest the citations.
According to OSHA area director Diane Brayden, the action results from an investigation conducted from June 6 to October 5 to follow up an inspection completed in May, 1997 at the plant, which employs about 30 workers and manufactures photo developer and other specialty chemicals.
Brayden said the firm received a failure-to-abate notice for failing to complete a process hazard analysis of worker exposure to sulfur dioxide, which had been cited as a serious violation in 1997 and which the employer said would be completed. A failure to abate is a notice of additional penalty issued against an employer who has failed to correct a violation which has become a final order of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
The alleged failure to abate carries a proposed penalty of $52,500.
The firm also was cited for failing to prevent employees from being exposed to gluteraldehyde, a chemical used in photo developer, at levels above industry-standard exposure limits. A repeat violation is one for which an employer has been previously cited for the same or a substantially similar condition and the citation has become a final order of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. Thatcher was previously cited for this condition in May, 1997. The alleged violation carries a $4,200 proposed penalty.
Finally, the firm was cited for failing to provide employees with respirators to protect them from airborne gluteraldehyde, an alleged serious violation carrying a proposed penalty of $2,100.
A serious violation is defined as a condition which exists where there is a substantial possibility that death or serious physical harm can result.
The investigation was conducted by OSHA's Syracuse area office, located at 3300 Vickery Road, North Syracuse, New York, telephone (315) 451-0808.