Region 3 News Release: USDL: III-01-02-12-017-PA
Mon., Feb. 12, 2001
Contact: Leni Uddyback-Fortson
Office: (215) 879-0127
FALCON PLASTICS CITED FOR ALLEGED SAFETY AND HEALTH VIOLATIONS; OSHA PROPOSES $161,000 IN PENALTIES
The U.S. Department of Labor has cited Falcon Plastics, Washington, Pa. for alleged violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, proposing $161,000 in penalties. Falcon Plastics is a plastics products manufacturer employing 220 people.
OSHA initiated an inspection on Aug. 17, 2000 in response to a complaint filed after an employee suffered amputation of several fingers. This was the second accident involving amputation suffered by a Falcon employee within a five-month period.
According to Robert Szymanski, area director of the OSHA Pittsburgh office, the company was issued two willful violations, carrying a penalty of $112,000; 15 serious violations, carrying a penalty of $49,000; and seven other-than-serious violations, which carry no penalty.
"These two unfortunate incidents occurred because Falcon Plastics allowed its employees to work on unguarded machinery, without use of the hand tools" says Szymanski, "Proper guarding must be employed immediately to prevent future tragedies from occurring."
The willful violations were issued because of the company's failure to guard machinery and failure to provide special hand tools designed to protect machine operators from inadvertently making contact with the machine.
Serious violations included:
- lack of personal protective equipment
- lack of machine guarding
- exposed electrical parts
- improper use of powered industrial trucks
- deficient Lock Out/Tag Out program-prevents inadvertent machine start-up
- improper storage of compressed gas cylinders
Other-than-serious violations were due to the company's deficient recordkeeping, poor housekeeping and failure to provide hazard communication training.
Willful violations are those committed with an intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the OSH Act and regulations.
A serious violation involves 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 either 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
The investigation was conducted by the Pittsburgh OSHA office, Federal Building, Room 1428, 1000 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pa. 15222-4101. Phone: (412) 395-4903.
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