Region 2 News Release: USDL-OSHA-00-142-11-21
Tues., Nov. 21, 2000
Contact: Diana Petterson
PHONE: (214) 767-4776, ext. 222
OSHA PROPOSES $120,600 PENALTY AGAINST HIWASSE MANUFACTURING CO., INC., JACKSONVILLE, ARK.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Hiwasse Manufacturing Co., Inc., in Jacksonville, Ark., with proposed penalties of $120,600 for alleged safety and health violations resulting from a complaint inspection concerning working conditions, announced the U.S. Department of Labor.
Hiwasse, employs about 35 workers at its 1030 Redmond Road facility in Jacksonville where electrical appliance panels are manufactured. The company's corporate headquarters are at the same location.
According to Paul J. Hansen, Jr., Little Rock OSHA area director, the alleged violations were discovered during a complaint inspection conducted between May 26 and Sept. 12. The complaint originated following amputations suffered by employees while operating a press brake.
The company was cited for 26 serious, one willful and two other-than-serious violations.
Some of the 26 serious violations, totaling $75,600, consisted of the company failing to ensure that employees had free and unimpeded access to exits; improper storage and use of Class I flammable liquids; failing to develop an adequate Lockout/Tagout Program, not guarding press brakes that exposed employees to being caught in the dies during operating cycles, and inadequate training, maintenance, and improper operating procedures of mechanical power presses. A serious violation is one in which there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result.
The one willful violation for $42,000 alleges the repeated use of a press brake that was not provided adequate point of operation guarding. Several accidents involving amputations had occurred on a press brake while employees operated the equipment without point-of-operation guarding. A willful violation is one where the evidence shows either an intentional violation of the Act or plain indifference to its requirements.
The other-than-serious violations, totaling $3000, consisted of not providing ring guards to prevent employees from being caught in the dies in the event of an unintended cycling of part revolution presses and failing to report mechanical power press point-of-operation injuries to either the Arkansas State Department of Labor or OSHA. 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 the employees.
Employers or workers who have questions concerning safety and health may contact the Little Rock Area Office at (501) 324-6291. They may also take advantage of the free consultation offered by the Arkansas Department of Labor Consultation Service at (501) 682-4520.
Hiwasse has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to comply with the citations, request an informal conference with the OSHA Little Rock area director or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
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