News Release USDL: 97-14
Tuesday, January 14, 1997
Contact: Frank Kane, (202) 219-8151
OSHA Proposes $720,700 In Fines Against Solvay, N.Y., Firm
For Grossly Underrecording Worker Injuries And Illnesses
Landis Plastics Also Cited for Machine Guarding and Ergonomic
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
today issued citations against Landis Plastics, Inc., of Solvay,
N.Y., for alleged willful failures to record worker illnesses and
injuries over a two-year period. Proposed penalties total
$720,700, primarily for the alleged recording violations, in
addition to violations for machine guarding and ergonomic-related
OSHA found that Landis failed to record 63 injuries and
illnesses in 1995 and 1996 in logs they are required to keep
under the Occupational Safety and Health Act. Known as OSHA 200
logs, these are used to record injuries and illnesses that occur
in the workplace and are an important means of determining where
hazardous conditions exist. More than half of the unrecorded
injuries and illnesses were related to ergonomic hazards.
The company had been warned specifically by OSHA about
injury and illness recording deficiencies during previous
"OSHA regards the failure to record injuries and illnesses
suffered by workers as a very serious violation," said Gregory R.
Watchman, acting assistant secretary of labor for occupational
safety and health. "Without proper recording, hazards remain
undetected and may lead to unnecessary pain and suffering that
could have been prevented."
Patricia A. Clark, OSHA Regional Administrator, said, "By
misrecording injuries and illnesses over the last two years, this
company allowed hazards to remain unaddressed, resulting in
continuous harm to employees."
The Solvay plant, which employs about 170 workers, makes
custom-molded plastic food containers. Landis Plastics has about
1,200 employees in four manufacturing sites in New York,
Illinois, and Indiana.
OSHA's action results from a complaint inspection of the
facility conducted July 15, 1996, through Jan. 14, 1997.
For each of the 63 alleged willful violations of the
recordkeeping requirements, OSHA's Syracuse, N.Y. area office
issued citations carrying a proposed penalty of $10,000, for a
total of $630,000 as the penalty for an alleged egregious willful
violation, the most serious classification of OSHA citations. An
additional alleged willful violation, with a combined penalty of
$10,000, cited 50 instances of failure to provide full
descriptions in the OSHA logs of injuries and illness that
Landis Plastics not only failed to meet OSHA recording
requirements, but also did not report injuries and illnesses to
the New York State workers compensation system. Landis was self-insured for workers compensation and paid compensation directly
to injured workers without notifying the state. As a result,
Landis was the first company to be fined for not reporting
injuries to the state system. Penalties of $48,000 were assessed
by New York State for 21 unreported injuries and illnesses in
Additional alleged willful violations deal with the
company's failure to establish a hearing conservation program. A
hearing conservation program requires the employer to provide
yearly audiograms to employees exposed to excessive noise; train
employees on the effects of noise, and provide hearing protection
at no cost to the employees. The proposed penalty for these
violations is $5,000.
Landis Plastics also was cited for alleged repeat violations
involving failing to adequately guard machinery, not certifying
the completion of lockout/tagout training, and not making hazard
assessments for personal protective equipment. The company had
been cited for similar violations in previous years. The
proposed penalty totals $57,700.
The firm also was cited for four alleged serious violations,
including failure to provide a workplace free from ergonomic risk
factors likely to cause carpal tunnel syndrome and back and
shoulder injuries. The proposed penalty for the serious
violations totals $15,000.
In addition, OSHA cited Landis Plastics for three alleged
other-than-serious violations for failing to complete
supplemental records (required for each recordable occupational
injury and illness), failure to complete a written certification
for personal protective equipment training and failure to conduct
period inspections of energy control procedures used to safely
lock out equipment. Proposed penalties for those alleged
violations total $3,000.
A summary of alleged violations is attached.
The company has 15 working days to contest the citations and
proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and
Health Review Commission.
SUMMARY OF CITATIONS AND PROPOSED PENALTIES
LANDIS PLASTICS, INC.
ALLEGED EGREGIOUS WILLFUL VIOLATION
Failure to record on the OSHA 200 log recordable injuries
and illnesses, 63 instances with proposed penalties of $10,000
per instance, total proposed penalty of $630,000.
ALLEGED WILLFUL VIOLATIONS
Failure to properly record items on the OSHA 200 log, 50
instances, proposed penalty of $10,000.
Lack of a hearing conservation program, charging employees
for replacement of hearing protection, and failure to provide
employees with more than one type of hearing protection, proposed
penalty of $5,000.
ALLEGED SERIOUS VIOLATIONS
Violation of Section 5(a)(1) of the Occupational Safety and
Health Act, which imposes a general duty on the employer to
provide employment and a place of employment free from known and
recognized hazards likely to cause death or serious injury, by
having employees perform tasks with ergonomic risk factors,
proposed penalty of $7,000.
Exit and access door in conference room locked, proposed
penalty of $1,500.
Failure to require necessary splash goggles, proposed
penalty of $1,500.
Failure to conduct periodic inspections for energy control
procedures, proposed penalty of $2,500.
Failure to provide training on energy control procedures,
proposed penalty of $2,500.
ALLEGED REPEAT VIOLATIONS
Failure to adequately guard machines to protect employees
from rotating and reciprocating parts and ongoing nip and pinch
points, proposed penalty of $50,000.
Failure to provide written certification for personal
protective equipment hazard assessment, proposed penalty of
Failure to provide certification of lockout/tagout training,
proposed penalty of $200.
ALLEGED OTHER-THAN-SERIOUS VIOLATIONS
Failure to complete supplementary records within six working
days, proposed penalty of $3,000.
Lack of written certification for personal protective
equipment training, no penalty.
Willful violations are those committed with an intentional
disregard of, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the
OSH Act and regulations.
|TOTAL OF PROPOSED PENALTIEs||$720,700|
A serious violation is defined as one in which there is
substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could
result, and the employer knew or should have known of the
A repeat violation is a violation of any standard,
regulation, rule or order where, upon reinspection, a
substantially similar violation is found. To be the basis of a
repeat violation, the original citation must be final, and not
An other-than-serious violation is a hazardous condition
that would probably not cause death or serious physical harm, but
would have a direct and immediate relationship to the safety
and/or health of employees.