Region 8 News Release: 24-OSHA
Monday, Aug. 13, 2001
Contact: Rich Kulczewski
OSHA FINES OWENS CORNING IN DENVER $130,000 FOLLOWING ACCIDENT INVESTIGATION
DENVER -- Following an accident at its Denver plant in February in which an employee lost an arm, Owens Corning received citations today for two alleged willful violations and one alleged serious violation of the Occupational Safety and Health Act. The company was issued proposed penalties totaling $130,000.
The violations and penalties were issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's Denver area office, following an inspection that began Feb. 15. Violations found were the result of inadequate machine guarding on asphalt shingle manufacturing equipment.
"An employee lost his arm and other employees were exposed to serious machine guarding hazards because this employer did not address recognized hazards prior to the accident," said Herb Gibson, acting OSHA area director in Denver, noting that reducing amputations is a national priority for OSHA.
OSHA cited Owens Corning for two alleged willful violations: failure to guard sprocket wheels and chains with a proposed penalty of $70,000; and failure to guard rotating parts and in-running nip-points, with a $55,000 proposed penalty.
The alleged serious violation, with a proposed penalty of $5,000, was for failure to guard rotating parts such as belts and pulleys and failure to guard rotating parts and in-running nip-points.
Willful violations are those committed with an intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the OSH Act and its regulations.
A serious violation is defined as one committed where there is substantial probability that death or physical harm could result and the employer knew of should have known of the hazard.
Owens Corning has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to request an informal conference with the OSHA area director, or to contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
OSHA's Denver office is located at 1391 Speer Blvd., suite 210, phone (303) 844-5285.