Region 1 News Release: BOS 2001-022
Monday, February 26, 2001
Contact: John M. Chavez
Phone: (617) 565-2075
OSHA CITES MERIDEN, CONNECTICUT, EMPLOYER FOR ALLEGED WORKPLACE SAFETY & HEALTH VIOLATIONS; PROPOSES OVER $92,000 IN PENALTIES
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration of the U.S. Department of Labor has cited AGC, Inc. of 140 Evansville Ave., Meriden, Conn., for alleged serious and other violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, and has proposed penalties totaling $92,050 for those violations.
OSHA initiated safety and health inspections of the AGC facilities, which manufacture aircraft engine component parts, on Oct. 12, 2000, under the Site Specific Targeting Program which focuses on workplaces with exceptionally high injury and illness rates.
"Using 1998 data, the average lost workday injury and illness rate for all industries throughout the country was 3.1 per hundred workers. The rate for the AGC plant was 15.92 per hundred workers in that same period," said Clifford S. Weston, OSHA area director in Bridgeport.
Both inspections concluded on Nov. 15, 2000.
Weston noted that the violations found during the safety inspection include deficiencies such as lack of guard railings, obstructed means of egress, problems with material handling equipment, machine guarding and electrical hazards, as well as insufficient means for controlling the lock out of hazardous energy sources. In all, the company is being cited for 33 alleged serious safety violations carrying proposed penalties totaling $71,050.
In addition, Weston said the health inspection revealed serious violations involving: lack of hearing conservation program and engineering controls for noise overexposures; lack of a hazard assessment for personal protective equipment; lack of appropriate respirator program; inadequate emergency eyewashes; inadequate training concerning hazardous chemicals, more specifically, hydrofluoric acid; hazards associated with cadmium; and the lack of protection for first aid responders where no exposure control plan was in place and employees were not offered the Hepatitis B vaccination. AGC is being cited for 12 alleged serious health violations, including proposed penalties totaling $18,900.
Three other-than-serious violations found during the health inspection address: recordkeeping deficiencies, personal protective equipment and lack of updated material safety data sheets. Those alleged violations include a proposed penalty of $2,100.
Weston said numerous individual hazards were found in the workplace, with most of the citations containing groupings of multiple instances of alleged violations.
He urged Connecticut employers and employees with questions regarding safety and health standards to contact the OSHA area offices in Bridgeport or Hartford. He added that OSHA's toll-free nationwide hotline -- 1-800-321-OSHA (1-800-321-6742) -- may be used to report workplace accidents and fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, especially those situations which occur outside of normal business hours.
A serious violation is defined by OSHA as one in which there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result, and the employer knew, or should have known, of the hazard.
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 impact on the safety and health of employees.
The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 gives OSHA the responsibility to issue standards and rules requiring employers to provide their employees with safe and healthful workplaces and jobsites. Through workplace inspections, OSHA assures that standards are followed.
The company has 15 working days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to either elect to comply with them, request and participate in an informal conference with the OSHA area director, or contest them before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
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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.