Region 1 News Release: BOS 2001-128
Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2001
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Phone: (617) 565-2074
$140,000 in Fines Proposed against Corbin Russwin, Inc.
OSHA CITES BERLIN, CONN., DOOR LOCK MANUFACTURER FOR 57 ALLEGED WORKPLACE SAFETY & HEALTH VIOLATIONS
BOSTON -- A cluster of safety and health hazards that could expose workers to amputations, fires, electrocution, crushing injuries, falls, hearing loss and hazardous chemicals and substances has prompted $140,000 in fines against a Berlin, Conn., door lock manufacturer.
The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited Corbin Russwin, Inc., of 225 Episcopal Rd., for 57 alleged violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, following safety and health inspections conducted between February and August. The inspections were carried out under OSHA's Site Specific targeting program, which schedules inspections for workplaces with a higher than average number of lost work days due to injuries and illnesses.
"The sizeable fines proposed in this case reflect the breadth and number of hazardous conditions identified and cited in these inspections," said Thomas Guilmartin, OSHA area director in Hartford. "Chief among them are 47 instances of inadequate machine guarding or point of operation guarding on mechanical power presses and other machinery, including one machine on which an employee suffered a partial finger amputation in 2000."
Other citations address deficiencies involving failure to supply workers with personal protective equipment, electrical safety hazards, wet floors, failure to provide wash basins for employees working with acids and caustics, unlabeled containers of hazardous chemicals, failure to ensure the use of seatbelts by forklift operators, inadequate process safety information for the plant's sulfur dioxide system, no backflow and flashback protection for a soldering torch, and inadequate safeguards for employees exposed to lead, cadmium and excess noise levels. A fact sheet detailing the alleged violations and proposed penalties is attached.
Corbin Russwin, which employs 387 workers at the Berlin plant, has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to either elect to comply with them, to request and participate in an informal conference with the OSHA area director, or to contest them before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Guilmartin urged Connecticut employers and employees with questions regarding workplace safety and health standards to contact the OSHA area offices in Hartford (860-240-3152) or Bridgeport (203-579-5579).
Information to help employers comply with OSHA standards, including interactive safety and health advisors and e-Compliance Assistance Tools, is available online at www.osha.gov .
Fact Sheet - OSHA Citations & Proposed Penalties - Corbin Russwin, Inc. - Berlin, Conn.
Forty seven alleged serious violations, with $127,500 in fines proposed, for:
- 47 instances of inadequate machine guarding or point of operation guarding on power presses and other machinery
- failure to provide backflow and flashback protection where a soldering torch was directly connected to natural gas and compressed air in the plant's overall piping system
- failure to ensure forklift operators wore provided seatbelts to prevent serious injuries in the event of a forklift tipover
- no hazard assessment conducted to determine the need for personal protective equipment for workers
- inadequate face and eye protection for workers
- numerous electrical safety hazards, including ungrounded and unprotected electrical equipment, wiring and parts
- wet floors due to a leaky roof
- failure to adequately protect employees against excess noise levels
- an inside chemical storage room lacked appropriate fire resistant walls, sills and lamps, self-closing fire doors and was not liquid tight
- a spray paint booth lacked adequate fire protection and air velocity and had an exit path which required workers to pass by high hazard electrostatic spraying operations
- incomplete or absent process safety information, hazard analysis, written operating procedures, employee training or emergency plan for the plant's sulfur dioxide system
- wash basins not provided where employees worked with acids, caustics and chrome in open surface tanks
- no initial monitoring and supplying of mandatory information to employees whose duties involved exposure to lead
- no initial monitoring and required ventilation for employees exposed to cadmium during brazing operations
- unlabeled containers of hazardous chemicals
[A serious violation is defined by OSHA as one in which there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result, and the employer knew, or should have known, of the hazard.]
One alleged repeat violation, with a proposed fine of $12,500, for:
- failing to provide eyewash facilities in three locations in the plant where corrosive chemicals are used. [Corbin Russwin had previously been cited by OSHA for this type of hazard in March 1999].
[OSHA issues a repeat citation when an employer has been previously cited for a substantially similar violation and that citation and its penalties have become final.]
Nine alleged other than serious violations, for:
- deficiencies involving floor holes, lifting slings, welding, electrical safety and failure to report a power press amputation
[An other-than-serious violation is a condition which would probably not cause death or serious physical harm but would have a direct and immediate relationship to the safety and health of employees.]
|[Total proposed penalties:
The information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (617) 565-2072. TDD (Telecommunications Device for the Deaf) Message Referral Phone: 800-347-8029.