Region 2 News Release: 11-1798-NEW/BOS 2012-002
Jan. 6, 2012
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
US Labor Department's OSHA proposes $90,000 in fines against
Avon, NY, manufacturer for repeat and serious safety hazards
BUFFALO, N.Y. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Gray Metal Products for alleged repeat and serious violations of workplace safety standards at its plant in Avon. The metal products manufacturer faces a total of $90,040 in proposed fines following an OSHA inspection begun on Oct. 28.
"Our inspection identified several instances of hazards that were cited and corrected following a 2007 OSHA inspection, but which have since recurred," said Arthur Dube, OSHA's area director in Buffalo. "Failing to address these, as well as other newly identified hazards, exposes employees to potentially deadly or disabling injuries from falls, electric shock, lacerations, battery acid burns, or being struck by or caught in moving machine parts."
The recurring hazards included failure to periodically inspect all hazardous energy control procedures, not locking out machines' power sources during maintenance, not training employees in hazardous energy control procedures and several instances of unguarded moving machine parts. These conditions resulted in citations for four repeat violations carrying $55,440 in fines. 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. Similar violations were cited in 2007 and 2008.
The latest inspection also found a damaged ladder and defective fall protection equipment, misused electrical equipment, exposed electrical conductors, lack of protective gloves and an emergency eyewash, and inadequate hearing protection. These conditions resulted in citations for six serious violations carrying $34,600 in fines. 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.
"It's not enough to simply correct hazardous conditions. Employers must also take and maintain effective and ongoing corrective action to protect their employees," said Robert Kulick, OSHA's regional administrator in New York. "One method is by developing and maintaining an effective illness and injury prevention program in which management and employees work together to proactively identify and prevent hazardous conditions."
Gray Metal Products has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, meet with OSHA's area director or contest the findings to the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742), the agency's Buffalo Area Office at 716-551-3053.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.
U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The information above is available in large print, Braille, audio tape or disc from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.