Region 2 News Release: NY 224
November 16, 2000
Contact: Chester J. Fultz
WYANDANCH, NEW YORK, PAINTBRUSH MANUFACTURER CITED BY OSHA FOR ALLEGED SAFETY AND HEALTH VIOLATIONS; $158,400 IN PENALTIES PROPOSED
The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Linzer Products Corporation, of 248 Wyandanch Avenue, Wyandanch, New York, and proposed penalties of $158,400 against the firm for 74 alleged serious violations and 11 alleged other-than-serious violations of OSHA standards. The company has until December 4 to contest the citations.
According to OSHA area director Harvey Shapiro, the action results from an investigation conducted from May 11 through November 9 at the plant, which employs about 180 workers and is engaged in importing, manufacturing, and distributing paint brushes, paint rollers, and brooms. The inspection was initiated after OSHA's Long Island office received a report from OSHA in Concord, New Hampshire, of numerous safety violations at American Brush, Inc., a Linzer subsidiary.
The alleged serious violations for which the employer was cited included:
- failure to provide proper guards on flywheels, gears, horizontal belts and pulleys, cranks and connecting rods, shafts and other critical locations on machines;
- power press hazards, including failure to ensure that pedal mechanisms on power presses were protected from unintended operation, and that pedal return springs were of the compression type;
- failure to ensure that presses included a type of drive motor that would disconnect from the power source in the event of power failure, and that motor start buttons and points of operation were guarded on presses;
- failure to ensure that tonnage and stroke requirements on power presses were stamped on dies or readily available to die setter, and to ensure that safety blocks were used when presses were being adjusted or repaired;
- failure to provide a program of periodic and regular inspections of presses and to provide training to operators before they worked on presses;
- failure to develop and use lockout-tagout procedures designed to prevent the accidental start-up of machines during servicing or maintenance, to use appropriate locks or other devices, and to provide employee training in the procedures;
- violations of OSHA standards on methylene chloride, a widely used industrial solvent that can cause cancer or worsen heart problems for workers exposed to its vapors, including failure to ensure that workers were not exposed to airborne concentrations of the chemical in excess of the OSHA limit;
- failure to institute engineering controls to reduce employee methylene chloride exposure, to have a respiratory protection program and provide respirators to exposed employees, to provide appropriate protective clothing, to ensure that all leaks and spills of the chemical were contained, repaired, and cleaned up promptly;
- failure to monitor the workplace to determine employee methylene chloride exposure, with appropriate medical surveillance and information to exposed employees;
- failure to maintain passageways free of obstructions, and provide exits that were clear and unlocked, with doors that were of the side-hinged swing type;
- failure to maintain exits that were a minimum of 28 inches wide, to provide exit and directional signs and exits which discharged directly to the street;
- allowing employees to walk or stand under the elevated forks of powered industrial trucks;
- failure to reduce pressure of compressed air used for cleaning below 30 psi;
- failure to properly guard open-sided floors and stairs;
- electrical hazards, including failure to ensure that over current devices for 600-volt circuits were readily accessible, to ensure that flexible cords and cables were protected from accidental damage, and to ensure that flexible cords not be used as permanent wiring.
The employer was also cited for failure to properly complete the OSHA log of injuries and illnesses, failure to properly maintain fire extinguishers, failure to provide grinding equipment with appropriate work rests or tongue guards, and other alleged other-than-serious violations.
A serious violation is defined as a condition which exists where there is a substantial possibility that death or serious physical harm can result. 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 health of employees.
The investigation was conducted by OSHA's Long Island area office, located at 1400 Old Country Road, Suite 208, Westbury, New York, telephone (516) 334-3344.