Region 2 News Release: NY 124
March 27, 2001
Contact: Chester J. Fultz
WILLIAMSTOWN, NEW YORK, WIRE-MAKING PLANT CITED BY OSHA FOR ALLEGED SAFETY AND HEALTH VIOLATIONS; $78,000 IN PENALTIES PROPOSED
The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Omega Wire, Inc., Route 13, Williamstown, New York, and proposed penalties of $78,000 against the firm for four alleged repeat violations, 16 alleged serious violations, and three alleged other-than-serious violations of OSHA standards. The company has until April 13 to contest the citations.
According to OSHA area director Diane Brayden, the action results from an investigation conducted from October 30 through February 23 following an accident at the plant, in which an employee was seriously injured when her hair became entangled in a wire buncher.
The alleged serious violations for which the employer was cited included:
- failure to guard a rotating die holder on a wire buncher;
- failure to assess the need for personal protective equipment such as gloves and eye protection;
- failure to provide proper gloves and eye protection when employees were working with caustic chemicals;
- failure to provide a written respirator program, medical exams, and fit tests for employees who were required to wear respirators as part of their job;
- failure to provide handrails on stairs;
- failure to label clearly the controller for a 3 ton hoist;
- failure to provide guards on saws, projecting shaft ends of drive motors, projecting keys on rotating shafts, and other machines;
- failure to adequately guard electrical parts.
The serious violations carry a total proposed penalty of $35,500.
OSHA also cited the employer for failure to provide strain relief on electrical cords, to guard openings on electrical circuit breaker panels, to provide emergency eyewash facilities, and failure to determine the capacity of lifting devices, four alleged repeat violations carrying a total proposed penalty of $37,700.
A repeat violation is one for which an employer has been previously cited for the same or a substantially similar condition and the citation has become a final order of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. Omega Wire was previously cited for these conditions at a plant in Jordan, New York in October, 1999.
The firm was also cited for failing to adequately maintain the required log of injuries and illnesses, failure to label circuit breakers for what they controlled, and failure to repair damaged insulation on an electrical cord, three 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 Syracuse area office, located at 3300 Vickery Road, North Syracuse, New York, telephone (315) 451-0808.