Region 3 News Release: USDL: III-01-03-26-022-PGH
Mon., Mar. 26, 2001
Contact: Leni Uddyback-Fortson
Office: (215) 861-5102
FREEPORT, PA FIRM CITED FOR SAFETY AND HEALTH VIOLATIONS
The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Freeport Brick, Freeport, Pa., for alleged violations of safety and health standards and proposed $180,300 in penalties. The company manufactures clay and high aluminum brick.
According to Robert Szymanski, area director of the Pittsburgh OSHA office, the company was issued two willful violations for safety, one willful citation for health (grouped violations), seven repeat violations, 12 serious violations, and eight other-than-serious violations.
"The willful safety violations, with a proposed penalty of $84,000, concern the overloading of fork trucks and other fork lift deficiencies which put the employees at considerable risk of injury," said Szymanski. "The willful health violations, with a penalty of $33,000, were for overexposure to silica, lack of a written respirator program, and inadequate engineering controls. The company did not perform medical evaluations, fit testing or respirator training."
The repeat violations, with a proposed penalty of $40,200, stem from an inspection in 1998, and include lack of personal protective equipment, poor housekeeping, failure to conduct hazard assessments and forklift and hazard communication training, and an unguarded portable grinder.
The serious violations, with a proposed penalty of $23,100, concern open-sided platforms, improper installation of liquid propane gas cylinders, lack of machine guarding and protective shield/barriers, exposed electrical apparatus and lack of safety related electrical training.
The other-than-serious violations, which carry no penalty, include unmarked exits, improper storage of compressed gas cylinders, defective ladders and several electrical violations.
Willful violations are those committed with an intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the OSH act. Repeat violations occur when an employer has been cited previously for a substantially similar condition and the citations have become final order of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. Serious violations involve a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result and that the employer knew or should have known of the hazard.
The company has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to decide to comply, 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.
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