Region 2 News Release: NY 120
BUFFALO, NEW YORK, PLASTICS MANUFACTURER CITED BY OSHA FOR ALLEGED SAFETY VIOLATIONS; $159,600 IN PENALTIES PROPOSED
February 24, 2000
Contact: Chester J. Fultz
The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Euro United Corporation, of 901 Fuhrmann Boulevard, Buffalo, New York, and proposed penalties of $159,600 against the firm for one alleged willful violation, eight alleged repeat violations, 12 alleged serious violations and one alleged other-than-serious violation of OSHA standards. The company has until March 13 to contest the citations.
According to OSHA area director David E. Boyce, the action results from an investigation conducted from September 8 to February 15 following an accident at the plant in which an employee was splashed with molten plastic, suffering face, neck, and arm burns. "This is a case of an operation that grew too quickly," Boyce said. "There was a large expansion of production and employees, but the employer did not take the necessary actions to protect or train the employees in proper safety procedures," he added.
OSHA alleges that the company willfully violated OSHA's personal protective equipment standard by failing to provide employees exposed to flying plastic and metal chips with safety glasses. The willful violation carries a proposed penalty of $55,000.
The employer was cited for eight alleged repeat violations, with a total proposed penalty of $73,100, for failure to require employees to use personal protective equipment and train them in its use, failure to address issues related to a lockout-tagout program to prevent accidental start-up of machines being repaired or serviced, failure to provide access to first-aid supplies, and failure to give required training on various safety topics, including the hazardous chemicals in the workplace and the use of fire extinguishers.
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. Euro United was previously cited for these conditions in May, 1998.
The alleged serious violations for which the employer was cited included:
- failure to protect workers' hearing by monitoring noise levels, providing training, and conducting hearing tests;
- forklift vehicle safety violations including permitting travel with obstructed view or unstable loads with forks elevated;
- blocked access to emergency exits;
- failure to guard the unused portion of a band-saw.
The serious violations carry a total proposed penalty of $31,500.
The firm was also cited for poor housekeeping in the vicinity of an electrical panel, an alleged other-than-serious violation.
A willful violation is defined by OSHA as one committed with an intentional disregard for, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the OSHA act and regulations. 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 Buffalo area office, located at 5360 Genesee Street, Bowmansville, New York, telephone (716) 684-3891.
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